I didn't cuss, drink alcohol, smoke, do drugs, or sleep around. In addition to staying away from all these things, I would also read my Bible on occasion, attend church on most Sundays, and play guitar in the praise band. I, along with my wife, even led a small group at our home every week. These are some of the reasons I always thought of myself as being a good example of what a Christian was supposed to look like. I think it’s also why many others probably believed the same. However, I realized that I really wasn't a very good example of one at all! Being a Christian, a true follower of Jesus, is about so much more than this checkbox style of faith to which I’d somehow started to embrace and had grown so comfortable with. 

    I began to see how God doesn't just want us cautiously avoiding sin. He doesn’t want us merely playing the game of religion but truly desires a real relationship with us. He doesn't want us working to earn our salvation but to rest and trust in what Jesus has already done. He wants us to depend on the same power that saves us to live for Him right now. 

     The duties that I had fulfilled in the past because I had to or because I just thought it was what Christians were supposed to do were no longer a joyless task. I no longer looked at them simply as a way to earn God's approval. These good deeds were no longer just a means to get what I wanted or felt like I deserved. 

      It was no longer about checking off all the correct boxes or doing things just because I felt like I had to or was supposed to. Instead, I began joyfully and willfully doing all I could do for Jesus because I finally started to realize everything He’s already done for me!