Seeing The Gospel

Last Sunday, our preacher posed the question "How do you see the Gospel?"  Of course, I thought I saw it pretty clearly but through out his sermon I saw several areas where I need to grow my understanding. Unfortunately, in today's world, so many people see the Gospel as religion instead of a good news, grace based message -- I am guilty of seeing the Gospel this way sometimes.

At the end of the sermon he gave us a list of comparisons...Religious Centered View vs. Gospel Centered View. I really loved this list because I was able to see places that I am doing well and areas where I need major growth. I thought I'd share it today to keep myself accountable to growing but also in hopes that it might cause one of you to realize that God does not ask for a religious centered heart, He asks for a heart focused on the Gospel, the Good News.

Religious Centered versus Gospel Centered Graphic

Religious Centered View:
1) Feels guilty over sin.
2) Runs from God when they sin.
3) Sees Christianity as a burden, a list of rights and wrongs.
4) Prays when they need something. 
5) Struggles with forgiving others.
6) Sees themselves as better than others. 
7) Can't stand being criticized. 
8) Becomes angry when difficulties in life occur. 
9) Worship is lifeless.

Gospel Centered View:
1) Sorrow over sin is soon replace by gratitude. 
2) Runs to God when they sin.
3) Feels a profound sense of freedom in Christianity. 
4) Prays because they want to be with God. 
5) Gives forgiveness fully and freely. 
6) Sees themselves as equal with others.
7) Doesn't like criticism, but can stand it and receive it. 
8) Is patient and rejoices in difficulties and suffering.
9) Worship flows through their life.

For me, I really struggle with receiving criticism, and it's a total issue of pride and wanting to please others. When someone criticizes me, even in a loving way, my feelings get hurt and I get so defensive because I hate feeling like I'm not doing something right, like I've let someone down. I'm working on being more open and willing to hear criticism that is spoken in truth and in love...but y'all, it is SO hard. And the difficulty of that? I know that is where number four comes in because if I'm daily conversing with the Lord, that struggle will become easier with His guidance. 

I hope no one received this post today as me being a know it all, because I'm not. I fail in so many areas of seeing things with a Gospel centered mind and heart, and I want you to know that. Because it's really easy to sit behind this screen and act like I have it all together when in all actuality I'm often a complete mess. I often just hear things that I want to share because it has made such a change in me, and this was one of those times. 

If you feel comfortable, maybe leave a comment telling me in what area you fail to see things with a Gospel center? Or you could email me! I'd love to talk with you and grow together in seeing our faith correctly.

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