@@The Law is the dominant language of our culture.@@ We may not realize it behind a veil of self-improvement, fashion advice, or suggested nutrition plans from lifestyle bloggers, but the predominant message of culture is "Do more. Try Harder." Every blog, magazine, and TV show create for us an ideal - the ideal mom, the ideal husband, the ideal body type, the ideal career. They guilt us for lack of effort and shame us for failure, all in an attempt that we might become motivated to get better.
We often don't even notice this.
We've become accustomed to it. It's the language of culture. We've been fed images from the time we could walk and talk. Parents, coaches, neighbors, and teachers all taught us how to be better. Our go-to blogs and books re-iterate the same messages. As good Americans, we've been trained to believe that this is the manifesto of the American life: if you work harder than everybody else, you'll be better than everybody else.
The culture preaches this one message in thousands of different ways. Turn on the TV and the preacher says, "You don't look like that." Go to work and the preacher says, "You're not making enough." Spend a couple minutes on twitter and the preacher says, "You don't have enough influence." Walk down the stairs and your house preaches, "You're not cleaning enough." There are a thousand ways for the culture to preach the message, "Do more. Try harder." There aren't any ways for us to feel like we're ever getting it right.
Be a better mom, dad, husband, wife, worker, neighbor. Try harder to provide, exercise, eat healthy, care about the environment. Do more - spend more time reading, writing, praying, eating together, cooking, cleaning.
The law never stops preaching. It's a word that never sleeps - preaching day and night. Convicting. Frustrating. Guilting.
And it produces one effect: exhaustion. The law is exhausting because we will never measure up. When the culture creates a standard, the standard is always unreachable. It's a standard that creates for an exhausting pursuit of happiness that creates nothing but frustrated, tired, and angry people.
When's the last time you felt like you were successful enough? Made enough money? Felt like you were a good mom?
That's the law of the culture at work. The unwritten rules that we've created for ourselves tell us we aren't good enough. It's a law that speaks to us through blogs (prophets) who promise happiness but who deliver nothing but guilt and shame.
@@In a world fluent and heavy on the law, there is nothing more counter-cultural than the message of Jesus.@@ Jesus in the midst of a 'Do more' world says, 'Done.' Jesus says, "Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest." Jesus gives you rest from the exhaustion that you'll never measure up. @@Jesus gives you relief - you don't need to measure up to the rules you've created for yourself.@@ Jesus, by his death and resurrection, accepts you as you are.
When the world keeps preaching messages that there's more work to be done may Jesus remind you that the work is already done. It's finished. You're His.