His Yoke is Easy and His Burden is Light

There are a lot of things in the Christian world today that make me cringe and shrivel.  I could provide you with a running list of what makes me get a knot in my stomache and maybe I should.  "Buy this book for $19.95 and all your problems understanding this life in Christ will be solved."  "If you'll just follow this pattern of training your kids or this way of disciplining your kids, well, I can guarantee that your child will listen to you and be well behaved wherever you go."  "Wow, have you heard that guy speak?!  He is so in tune with God!  I can't wait to buy all his books and cds!"  "This is the best church in town, you have to go visit it sometime!"  "Wow, did you hear what so and so did for God, it is the most amazing thing I have ever heard!"  "If you will sow a seed of money to our ministry, you will reap financial blessings yourself." 

Really, there is not a specific, targeted theme to what makes me cringe in the "Christian" world today, obviously.  There is a broad spectrum to what makes me want to run away and hide.  And how do I feel when I read all of that or hear all of that?  I feel sick, I feel pressure and an anxiety attack about to ensue.  Spiritual suffocation overwhelms my mind, body and soul and all I want to do is run away from people who talk like this.  Seriously, I mean no ill will.  I just can't be in the presence of people like this.  The one word that stands out to me in this paragraph is pressure.  It's not the more prevalent word here, but it is one that has described how I have felt for years in various Christian circles.  Pressure, pressured.

pres·sure definition
Pronunciation:  /ˈpresh-ər/
Function: n
1 :  the burden of mental or physical distress especially from grief, illness, or adversity

–verb (used with object)
to force (someone) toward a particular end; influence
High expectations or the wrong expectation put upon me with force by others through words or non-verbal manipulation.  God is so not like that.  I am realizing this now.  He is not like this, He is not like this, He is not like this.  He is not like that.  I have to tell myself over and over again in my mind that is so filled with everybody's elevator music, a million different songs all playing at the same time.  Records are being back-masked to divulge a horrible, confusing sound.  Noise.  External noise.  And my cringe list is just a beginning glance at the external, "Christian" noise that we are forced, pressured to hear or witness or experience or see.
And we weed through all the mess and want to find the quiet voice of Christ in His true form.  His burden is light.  How can a burden be light?  His yoke is easy.  How can a yoke ever be easy?  When we think of burdens and yokes we think of something difficult or even impossible.  We envision a man with a heavy, unbearable load to carry or oxen pulling a ton with restraints, yokes around their neck.  There is nothing there in our minds that seems desirable.  These thoughts seem to be an oxymoron and at first glance they surely are, but we have to dig deeper.  His love for us constrains us to follow Him, not guarantees or focusing on what man can do or making a fortune offering His wisdom up to the world that He gave to us for free.   
His yoke, this constrainment, is easy because of our acknowledgment of His undying love for us.  He died for us and now lives for us and inside of us.  His burden is light, because His expecation of us is attainable and He never has us do anything we can't handle or bear.  His burden for us is to fill the world with His love by our example through His abilities and not our own.  There is no pressure, because you can't do this alone even if you tried.  He does this love thing through you and in you and around you.  The pressure is definitely off...forever.  Go in peace and know the He can even if you can't.        

1 comment:

Violet said...

It seems to me that being a Christian is about being pressured to be a this or to be a that, but should it be? I like your thoughts on this matter.