(June 16, 2020)

Ruth 3:11
“…don’t be afraid. …you are a woman of noble character.”

One of the most pervasive and unwritten deceits in the church goes something like this: we must work really hard in order to be a “good Christian” so that others will then think well of us, and God will accept us. …Or at least we hope.
So we strain, we work, and we strive. And deep down we always are worried. We are worried that we might be coming up just a little bit short.
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Can you identify with that striving? It often goes on at the unconscious level. Either that or we just throw in the spiritual towel because we figured out long ago that we don’t measure up to the other person sitting in the pew.
The truth is that we are not coming up a little bit short; we are coming up short by a long shot. And while we know that we are saved by grace, the journey from the head to the heart can be a very long one. We Presbyterians can be especially good at this.
The alternative to our spiritual “to-do” list is to discover more and more with each passing day what God has done – and what He is doing – in our hearts. We are so used to being on the go, that it can be difficult to go from “doing” to simply “being.” That is why it is so powerful to spend time with Jesus. To be still in His presence. To be saturated in Scripture. To listen… These things are powerful because they shape the core of who we are. And the fact that it is so tempting to keep returning to the “to do” list testifies to the fact that we need to be with Jesus habitually. The resulting change is so profound, that, as with Ruth, one’s character shines.
If this switch from “doing” to “being” feels overwhelming, then start here: Today, instead of asking, “What would Jesus do?” ask, “What is Jesus doing?” Then wait for His answer. It makes all the difference.
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Father, help us to live as those who are rooted in our identity, and not from a place of performance. Help us to be still before You this week. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.