The other day my pride took a bit of a hit. On my bible reading app I’d managed to get the grand total of 949 on my streak score. For those who don’t know what that is its a measure of how many days you’ve picked up and signed into your app. 949 isn’t a bad score, I’m sure there are people out there who have got a higher score but I was pretty pleased with myself and looking forward to hitting the 1000 mark before too long. But then… but then I forgot to pick up my phone on Friday and BAM I’m back down to a streak of 1. What a crushing blow for someone who likes to feel that I’m achieving it by my own effort. Of course this is a great reminder to me of the fact that I am, like most of us, obsessed with a self effort and achievement. I talk a lot about grace, that is the idea that everything we have is a gift. I understand that salvation and God’s continuing love are all a matter of grace but somehow my deceptive brain (heart) keeps telling me that I need to do stuff for God to love me more. But that’s rubbish isn’t it? In the end salvation and a place in God’s family and the fact of his love are either grace or they are not and it doesn’t depend on how many times I have read the bible or preached or sermon or given my money away wisely or even signed into the Bible app. Boo hiss to my proud self congratulatory obsession with showing I am worthy and a “good boy”
The other side of that is a danger too of course. I can so easily think that if it’s not down to anything I do and salvation is a gift and God’s love is a certainly then it doesn’t matter what I do and I can live as I please. But that is a trap too. It’s a trap where I delude myself into thinking sin is nothing and walking in the darkness doesn’t matter because God loves me anyway. The verse for today in the Bible app was a really helpful reminder to keep on keeping on.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
While my personal effort wont contribute to God’s love or my salvation in any way there are certain consequences of not pursuing God. Firstly it breaks fellowship with others and secondly it takes away any assurance that I really am saved.
What’s the upshot of all that? Well firstly I need to watch out for my religious pride: it’s pretty ugly and pretty stupid. But I also need to make sure that I’m walking with God each day not to get a “streak score” but because the darkness is a dangerous place to be.