My husband and I was talking the other day about how so many people struggle to fully surrender to God on a daily basis or live for God without fear. We see how hard it is for people to change lifestyle and habits or how they live in the past or present and not for the future, especially for eternity. We were brainstorming ideas on how to help people come out of controlling environments or how to break free from guilt or condemnation. Many times people who are non-christians either don’t know how to be a Christian or they see other Christians who live a life that is no different from their own, chaotic and full of drama, sad or needy.
I asked him if quoting the Word helped. We all are taught to memorize Scripture and how the Word is our sword but when faced with temptation to do wrong, we can quote all we want and still commit the act. The Word is good, it is the letter of the law and yes it can be a weapon, however if it is just words flowing through our mind or out of our mouth it unfortunately cannot stop you from doing what your heart wants to do. The Word of God is a double-edged sword, one side to cut, the other to heal. We choose which side to use. We must learn to change our heart and our heart cannot be changed with knowledge only.
As Christians, we can seek and know the Word and have great knowledge but knowledge is not the same as having a relationship. Knowledge is not what saves you nor keeps you from sinning. Knowledge can be thoughts in your head that you have read, learned or have been taught. The law of the word kills and judges, it condemns and places guilt upon us especially when we sin, so we must know what the word says in order to obey it. Guilt can also be placed on us by someone else trying to control us. The Bible is not meant to control us into making us robots of obedience but given to us to help us live a life of abundance. Some people say they don’t want to know the Bible, so they won’t feel obligated to obey. However, the law is the law regardless if you know it or not. For instance, if you were going 55mph down the highway and the actual speed limit was 35mph you would be speeding. An officer has the right to give you a ticket for speeding and breaking the law no matter how many excuses you may come up with. It is the officer who decides if you get a ticket for breaking the law or if he gives you mercy, grace and allows you to drive off with a warning. If we don’t have the knowledge of breaking the law or knowledge of the Bible of what it says, we are all still guilty. As Christians it is our duty to know the Word and to obey it to the best of our ability and use it for our advantage. Knowledge is what keep us obedience focused instead of relationship focused.
What I have seen in the past is the issue people use to control others with the knowledge they may have making others focused on obedience. When people feel guilty or condemnation it is not always from God unless a sin has been committed and the law broke. This is why many people fall away from God so quickly because guilt is place upon them so heavy after failure, regardless if the failure is sin or not. They are sometimes led to believe it is a sin, therefore feel judged and beaten down they would rather not live a Christian lifestyle to escape condemnation from others. If people place guilt or condemnation on others in a way to control them or get them to do what they want them to do, is not of God but of man. Fear, greed, and pride in man makes a person use knowledge (and unfortunately also use the Bible) to control people beating them into submission. The sad thing about this is the cycle continues.
Knowledge for knowledge sake has no redeeming qualities. A love based knowledge is a knowledge where you can apply compassion. If our focus is based on knowing God’s love and being more like him, the breaking the law will fade away. Our conclusion in this matter of helping people be set free, is that we should be focused on establishing a relationship with Jesus. When a person makes up their mind to have a heart-felt relationship with someone, they will do everything in their power to please, not condemn or manipulate. If our focus is making everyone like us in obeying the law, it only forms bondage guilt however if our focus is on forming a relationship with Jesus and loving Him, then freedom and peace will come. It takes a made up mind to establish which side of the sword you want to be on.
Prayer: Lord, as we continue to grow in your love and in your word, let us seek to enhance our relationship together. Forgive me so many times for using the Word to beat people up and not show them your love. Your love is the greatest, your love is what brings me peace and joy, your love is what holds me together, your love is what saves people and your love is everlasting. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Romans 8:1-2 New Living Translation (©2007)
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.