How is it we choose to live our lives? Sadly there are people who continually create impossible criteria and live under the delusion righteousness must come out of works. So focused on “doing” they miss that part of “living” for Jesus. Peter’s encouragement to all “doers” is to live as people who are free—“living as servants of God.” Life really doesn’t need to be as complicated as we make it.
In America, June and July are the months we begin to hear a lot about the Emmys. What are the Emmys exactly? It’s the annual events recognizing excellence within the American television industry. Actually, there are several types of Emmy Awards presented throughout the year. However, arguably the most prestigious of these events has become what’s known as the Primetime Emmys! Primetime television shows are programs aired in the evening hours—right after dinner and before 11:00pm. These are the hours Americans glue themselves to their televisions for relaxation.
The Emmys are an unusual competition. Generally, when we think of entering a contest we register, prepare and present our ability or talent before a group of experts. Not so with the Emmys. Nominees come from individuals that have gone about their daily business performing their craft at the highest level possible. Actors function with the mindset of doing a job, not obtaining an Emmy. The award results from doing your profession with excellence. Peers within the industry judge one another with little concern to what the populace may think about any given nominee. Popularity and quantity are not calculated into the results. And so the nominee is free to go about daily business without the bondage and pressure of unrealistic high standards coming from competition.
Too often believers press upon themselves complications in life as if they are trying to win an Emmy. Instead of enjoying the life of Jesus they live under the constant weight of attempting to obtain an award with God through self-righteousness. However, we’re not called to concentrate on producing an award but to live a life of freedom. The Winner has already conquered the prize at the cross. We can now live in the freedom and liberty won at Calvary—only don’t use your freedom as a cover-up for evil. Live as people who are free! Go about daily life in the life of Jesus and let the fruit of that freedom produce anything of honor. In Ephesians 2, verse 10 we read:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We’re not called to live the life of Super-Christian with a big “S” on our chests. The activities of living are things God has worked out beforehand and all we need to do is live the life He’s already worked and created for us. Knowing we’re not trying to win an Emmy for Outstanding Performance is a liberating experience. The awards come from God as we choose to live the life He has provided in Christ—that’s true liberty. So, when we hear the phrase, “And the Winner Is…” we can understand the answer is Jesus Christ and we are in Him!
J. Robert Hanson