Jesus isn’t a life-coach.
He is Lord.
And he commands you to listen to him.
He knows humanity intimately, both as its Creator God and as the Incarnate God-made-man.
Not only does he know the whole of humanity intimately, but he also knows you intimately.
He knows you from the inside out. He knows you better than you know yourself.
As the omnipotent God, Christ knows what’s best for you, what will make you most happy in this life and the next.
As Lord, Christ commands you to do what’s best for you.
He commands it!
Just look at all the language in the Sermon on the Mount. There are no “shoulds,” no “I thinks.”
This is not a sharing of ideas and opinions between equals; this is a revelation of the objective truth about God’s plan for a meaningful and good and holy life.
This is the way to heaven. Periodt.
If you want to get to heaven, you have to follow him. You have to do as he says – both by following the Church he instituted to guide us, and through surrendering to his will as he reveals it to you in your own personal life.
You don’t get to choose “your truth” or “your morality.” You don’t get to do “you do you.”
Christ’s truth is the only truth, because he is Truth itself.
God’s moral code is objective, because he is goodness itself. If you’re not for him, you’re against him – and that’s the difference between right and wrong.
You don’t get to do it your way, if you want to be happy. You have to do it God’s way, because he alone knows what will make you truly happy.
Embrace his commands.
Learn to love and trust them.
Commit your will to following them.
Take a look at some of Jesus’ commands in the Sermon on the Mount.
After reading each one, pause to ask yourself: am I treating this Word from Christ as the command of my Lord that I must follow? or as advice from a life-coach that I’m free to take or leave?
- Store up your treasure in heaven.
- You cannot serve both God and money.
- Do not judge, and you will not be judged.
- Beware of false prophets… You will be able to tell them by their fruits.
- If you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you.
- Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men.
- Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
- Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no.
- Let your good works give praise to your Father in heaven.
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for justice, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness… for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
These are the commands of our Lord.
If you have rejected any of these teachings, let that be a sobering moment. Take that to heart. Be convicted of your wrongdoing.
But do not be discouraged, and do not be afraid.
For Christ is Lord, but he is also love.
He commands because he desires your good. He commands because he wants you to follow the path to heaven, to be with him forever.
When you stray from the path, know that he is merciful and forgiving, and is always ready to welcome you home with open arms.
So turn back to him.
Run to him, your loving Lord, and let him write his commands on your heart.
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