“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
Wherever I go and whoever I talk to (regardless of age or season in life) people are exhausted. People are exhausted relationally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ve never been more convinced that the message of God’s inexhaustible grace is needed.
After talking to the spiritually exhausted people, I discovered that their exhaustion is due, in large part, to what they think they need to be doing in order to gain and maintain God’s love and favor. The root cause of our exhaustion has nothing to do with what goes on outside of us and everything to do with what’s going on inside of us. In other words, we’re not weary and heavy laden simply because we’re busy raising kids, working, maintaining relationships, and so on. The reason we’re so tired is because, through these things, we are trying to save ourselves. We are desperately trying to secure for ourselves meaning and worth – desperately trying to justify ourselves – in and through all of the things we’re so busy doing.
The good news of the gospel announces that everything we need in Christ we already possess, so we no longer have to win, be the best, succeed, raise the perfect kids, and so on, to feel like we matter. This brings huge relief and freedom to our lives and we find ourselves now enjoying our work and our kids and our spouse because we’re no longer relying on these things to “save” us.
In theological terms, most people live their life as if their justification depends on their sanctification: if I do and become all that I must do and become, God will love me and accept me. We need to be reminded that God’s love for sinners like me is not dependent on what we do, but on what Jesus has done for us. We are accepted and approved by God because of Christ’s work, not our work. This message desperately needs to be recovered in the twenty-first-century church. Pastors can lead the charge in making, once again, the Church to be the one place in all of society where the weary and heavy laden can come and find rest—not to-do lists.
--- Tullian Tchividjia