Thursday, January 12, 2017

You Don't Have To!

For years I struggled with being overweight. I often said, "I have to go on a diet." I tried many diets, but nothing worked.

Finally, I decided to just try to eat better. Instead of saying, "I can't eat this, and I can't eat that," I ate what I wanted but in moderation. In the next several years, I lost a significant number of pounds.

For some reason, when we feel we have to do something, it becomes a drudgery. When we do what we want to do, it becomes fun.

Are there any "have to" statements you make frequently? such as, "I have to go to work." Or, "I have clean my house." Or, "I have to pay my bills." Or, "I have to_____________."

The truth is, we don't have to do anything! God created us with free will--the freedom to make choices.

One time while I was working on a year-long writing assignment, I suddenly faced a traumatic crisis in my life. I later told someone that, as difficult as it was at the time, I had to complete that assignment, and I did. I was taken aback when he said, "No, you didn't have to. You could have let it go. You chose to complete it."

Of course, there are consequences to our choices. If I hadn't chosen to complete that assignment, my reputation as a dependable writer would have been ruined. I wouldn't have been paid, and so on.

And there are consequences to our spiritual choices that affect our present as well as our eternal welfare. We are free to see our options and take responsibility for our choices.

Before Jesus came to earth, the Law of Moses demanded that people follow certain rituals in order to please God. But Christ's death on the cross set us free from the impossible demands of the Mosaic law. We are free to love and serve God.

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