Don’t Try So Hard – Matthew 11:28-30

“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 version I chose is from The Message, a paraphrase of the Bible written in contemporary language. If you would prefer a more literal translation, click the scripture reference above, and you will see both versions.

It’s extraordinary what a great distance can separate our assumptions of what God wants, and what he said he wants. How many of us assume that if we keep more rules we will get more brownie points with God? We are trained from birth in that worldview, so no surprise really.

What surprises me most of all about this passage is that it is rarely the way I treat myself; I often ignore this advice for myself and others. Every time I come back to it I am jolted once again into the reality that God is much more joyful, light of spirit, and an attractive person to be around, than I usually expect. I’ve been seeing him more like that lately. He doesn’t have random bad moods like we do! Does it surprise us that Jesus said the words above? There are many passages in the Bible that echo the same thoughts.


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