The Contract Killer

beesIf you’re anything like me, your instinctive reaction to depression or addiction or difficulty will be to try harder.  In Christian terms, it looks like this: praying longer, studying the Bible more and generally being a “better Christian.”

These things are great – but they are not the gospel.

The point of Christianity is not ‘keeping up our end of the deal’. The point is a marriage-relationship with Jesus. We haven’t entered a contractual arrangement with Jesus but a covenant of love. He’s a spouse, not a mobile provider.

With Vodafone, everything is on contract. They give me the right amount of ‘minutes’, I give them the right amount of money. It’s a tit-for-tat relationship, I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine. This means it’s also fragile – ready to fall apart the minute either side fails to perform.

With Jesus, everything is about covenant love. He has given Himself to me, and by the cross He has purchased me forever. He belongs to me and I to Him. This is the most secure relationship imaginable – even though I fail to keep my part every day. Here is a covenant relationship – a relationship of unconditional love.

This makes a huge difference to how I think and live.  If I’m thinking “contract,” I’m secure only if I uphold my side of the agreement.  If I’m thinking “covenant,” I see that He upholds both.

So- how’s your Christian life going?  If you’re thinking “contract,” you’ll look to your performance – and despair.  if you’re thinking “covenant,” you’ll know this: “I am my beloved’s: and my beloved is mine”. (Song of Songs: 6:3)

10 thoughts on “The Contract Killer

  1. I’ve been excited the past few weeks. I thought that if I upped my Bible reading and church activities it would make all of the bad thoughts and voices and feelings stop and I’ve been planning to do that. I’m beginning to think that maybe it won’t work, and that sucks :(

  2. That’s the first time someone has clearly explained what a covenant relationship is. It also means that when my friend says that their marriage is a covenant relationship…I now see what they mean too. Thank you

  3. Oh my goodness Emma! I know this. I know it well and yet, I think I’d forgotten it… or at least, I believe it to be true when things are going well and I am being ‘a good Christian’ (rare to never these days), but when I’m ‘bad’, it somehow becomes a contract.
    Thank you for reminding me. This is almost enough to make me feel a tiny bit excited.
    It’s been a long time since I’ve felt a flicker of THAT.

    Sending love


  4. Hi Jess

    Church activities won’t make the voices go away – but Jesus does. Definitely listen to Him all you can: (which includes going to church and reading the Bible) – but remember that the power comes from Him – not us getting our spiritual disciplines right.

  5. I found that very encouraging. It said to me a relationship with Jesus is a gurantee for the future though the future is uncertain at the moment. Thanks for continuing to write about mental health issues too.

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