“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.”

Matthew 11:28-29a MSG

Hi, my name is Bobby and I’m a former “do-more-ic” and “try-harder-ist.” At the time of this writing, I’ve been clean for almost 4 years. Ok, sure, I’ve fallen back into the old habits of trying to make it on my own. And yes, of course, I’ve taken back the success of my salvation out of the wholly capable hands of Jesus. The allure of the “do more, try harder” cult is strong. Luckily, the sweet song of rest that Jesus sings is stronger.

Do More

The idea of having to do more stems from a weak god ideology. The god that needs or requires this type of behavior is simply small. 

John Dink writes it perfectly, “The truth – so scandalous, so surprising, our hearts have to be sitting down to hear it… God saves sinners single-handedly, He will not be needing our help. In fact, diluting the Gospel with our own help is precisely why grace ceases to amaze us. So busy trying to help Jesus help us, we hardly ever taste His gift and we remain unchanged and unmoved by it.

Try Harder

Give up. Stop trying. God doesn’t want your efforts. He wants your submission. Not submission in the sense of letting Him put his foot on your neck, but in the sense of completely relying on Him.

I tried real hard for a long time and it didn’t get me very far. I got frustrated, a lot. I got condemned, by me. I got hopeless. But I didn’t get much closer to actually feeling loved by God.

Brother Lawrence,  in the Practice of the Presence, when talking about sin says, “I can do no better without you. Please keep me from falling and correct the mistakes I make.” Notice that he doesn’t tell God that he’s going to do better next time. He doesn’t say that he’s going to pull himself up by his bootstraps and by God fix it. He simply tells God that He needs His help.

Cult?

So, what is this cult I’m talking about? Just the mindset of having to do things in order to “be right” or “stay right” with God.

For me, this cult is so addictive. It’s so alluring. I love this cult. This cult raised me. But it’s also toxic.

I finally broke free from this cult and now I live free. Would you like to join me?