Sin or ShalomJuly 14, 2021
Holiness in HarmonyJuly 29, 2021
Last week I asked you this: “If you read only Genesis 1 & 2 and Revelation 21 & 22, what would you conclude the Bible is all about? What is God’s main story line?”
The answer? Shalom: Peace, harmony, balance, joy, contentment. In a word: wholeness. (Read last week’s Putting Green. Or better yet listen to our radio show or podcast from last week.)
This week I want to ask you two more questions:
- What would you like most to be true about God?
- What would you like most to be true about “The Law”?
- About God: Perhaps you would say: That he loves me unconditionally—as in no conditions, no contingencies whatsoever would be based on my performance.
He is all powerful, he is always in control, and he is trustworthy … perfectly so. He knows and cares about the details of my life.
He is indeed all these and more. Immeasurably, abundantly more.
- About The Law: Maybe that it doesn’t apply anymore—and even if it does … not to me? And if it does, my sins are misdemeanors, not felonies.
Or how about this: God grades on the curve, which means I’m okay, because I’m doing a lot better than most?
But what if I told you the term, “The Law,” is a bad translation? When you read “The Law” in the O.T. scriptures, the actual word is “The Torah.” Torah means “teachings.” Torah means “God’s way to live.” The implications of this proper understanding can and should bring about a positive paradigm and perspective shift in your relationship with your Heavenly Father.
The Law conjures up thoughts and images of performance. Performance takes us right back to shame and condemnation, because my performance is never going to measure up.
Jesus taught and lived the Torah, God’s teachings, God’s way to live. His perspective moves me towards Shalom, and away from performance. I want to follow his teachings. I want to and see the wisdom in following God’s way to live. Jesus said, “I am the way” … God’s way. If I follow Jesus’ way, I am following him towards Shalom. If I am trying to perform under the rules of The Law, I am constantly sliding backwards toward shame and feelings of condemnation.
One is I got to; one is I get to. One is I need to; one is I want to. One is a blessing; one is a burden. One is about freedom; one is about fear.
One last note, so I don’t get 100 emails branding me a heretic. I am not going soft on sin. I am going hard on shame. I am not seeking to ignore sin; I am, as Jesus was and is, seeking to defeat shame and condemnation. Joy power over willpower.
You can choose, you know. It is simply a paradigm and perspective shift: from darkness into the light.
May you experience the joy power and freedom in the Shalom of God’s teachings and His way, Jesus’ way to live.