The Uninfected Life (#536)

What would a life in Jesus look like if we had never been infected by shame or religion and simply grew in a trusting relationship with God? That's what a listener asks and that sends Brad and Wayne into a discussion about the influence of shame and our religious attempts to cover it up actually distance us from the God we seek. It distorts his image and drives us to appease God instead of rest in a friendship that he wants to enjoy fully with each of us. While it would be great to have never known shame and religious performance, it is God's desire to teach us to live in freedom from it. It's a noble journey to escape the distortions of shame and find ourselves growing in the freedom to trust him.

Podcast Notes:
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  1. Sometimes I wonder if the uninfected life would be better. Can we compare it to the one who has everything given to them as a child, through high school, college, then into adult life. Does this person really appreciate what they have? Is there a passion behind their actions?
    As a person who spent 23 years in performance based religion and now lives freely within it, I have gound a deep passion to see people freed from the binds that prevent them from really knowing the care our Father has for them and also what it is to be motivated by that relationship and not expectations of others.
    It is not easy to stand when the majority look at me as rebellious, but they are curious why I have peace when confronted by their unmet expectations.
    I have taken this as a motto..”No one has authority over me that I do not willingly give them, and the first authority is Christ.”

  2. When Brad mentioned friends valuing him more as a resource than the relationship, that really spoke to me. I had a particular ‘friend’ that counted on me to become a financial advisor, imagine the disappointment when I didn’t. And I’m right with you Brad, in giving people the benefit of the doubt, to my detriment. I hung in with the friendship for many years because I didn’t see the signs, and he quite didn’t have the courage to end it.

  3. One of the resounding truths which has echoed throughout these last few years has been that of “environment.” In short that’s the question here, “Would a perfect environment shorten the road traveled?” In earnest, God has always taken me back to Eden – where two sought to take a short cut into what God had promised – the selfish root, narcissism. Regardless of the environment we are dispersed within – there is a longing for his loving presence. In a world filled with trash, you going to have to step on, over and around it on your journey. We have no real idea what we “need” do we? It is not about The environment but, it is about his love for you. Regardless of all the stuff, it takes time to transition into it – enjoy the journey. There’s so much more to breathe in…

  4. Hi all,

    Rick I am intrigued by your comments. Hope I’m not too late posting on this thread. I am feeling at a crossroads. I think God may be suggesting I return to involvement in our or another local church. I’d love to hear more about your experience. I like to think of myself as an ‘independent spirit’ but usually I end up complying, or being reactive in a problematic way. Either way is ultimately dependent (and substituting God’s voice for another).

  5. Something which Father has shown me on our journey into freedom, is that, as a whole, Christianity has compartmentalised our life into ‘spiritual’ and ‘ordinary’. I believe now, that we simply have our life, and everything which we do or how we spend our time is all in the context of relationship with Father. We don’t have a ‘shopping life’ or a ‘taxiing the kids to sport’ life, yet we think in terms of ‘prayer life’ and ‘church life’. I think religion and our human natures separate our life from Father, as it takes true intimacy to spend all of every day walking with him. If we view our life this way, I think it makes the descisions we make easier and puts them in context of relationship with Father.
    Lisa, time spent with a local church is no more important than doing the shopping or relaxing on the lounge with the family! If you feel like Father is with you, enjoying the time with you, then it’s time well spent. Father will bless those around you, in a local church, or at a school ‘p and f’ meeting!

  6. I hope I have the right podcast here. Brad spoke of sin – something along the lines (at least this is how I heard it in my words – I may have it wrong?!) – of it not being something to recognize and spend your time trying to overcome but rather recognizing and understanding that Jesus has already overcome it for us and that that IS the gospel / good news.

    Then I started pondering what repentance is and the place it had. My idea of what repentance is, is that it is a sorrow that leads to wanting to make amends and change our ways. We often say religion leads us into works or doing rather than Jesus working in us and so then thought that perhaps repentance is a fruit of allowing God into us and our lives and he turns our hearts to recognition of and a sorrow of things we do that which leads to a desire to make amends and that through it all, if our hearts are soft enough, we are changed by the experience. In my thinking that would be letting Jesus do the work in us rather than us doing the work which we know is only, at best, short lived. But…

    But then I considered the bible and a few of the verses that speaks of changing our hearts and the language used seems to be that of it being something we need to do.

    Luke 13:3Common English Bible (CEB)
    3 No, I tell you, but unless you change your hearts and lives, you will die just as they did.

    2 Peter 3:9Common English Bible (CEB)
    9 The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise, as some think of slowness, but he is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives.

    1 John 1:9Common English Bible (CEB)
    9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong.

    Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this? Many times I feel like the language of the bible supports the thinking that many people have that have led them to trying to change themselves and do the work themselves rather than relaxing into the done work of Jesus (gospel).

  7. Hi LD

    I’ve thought about this a lot as well, and I think mostly it comes down to the lens we view the world through, as to how we read verses like this!

    I think we can either see life as a series of relationships we engage with other people as we come into contact with them, or something else. There are many many distorted ways to view the world, legalistic, selfish, disconnected, angry….

    I think if we see Father as a loving father, who’s primary goal in life is to foster and enjoy relationships with his children, then the bible comes into a beautiful focus.

    We repent because we realize we are being hurtful and destructive in our relationship with Father, and we want to restore the joy we have with him.

    In a good marriage, if we realize we are being prideful and unrelational, we will repent and say sorry, change our unrelational behavior and be more loving and relational. It’s no different with our relationship with Father.

    Christianity has tended to ‘spiritualize’ all this, until it is disconnected from real life. I have found a good ‘measuring stick’ is to compare everything to a good, healthy family dynamic, and how would that play out in real life.

    So with your last question, I think that, yes, we do desire to change, as our brokenness is often hurtful to ourselves and others, but we just won’t do it on our own strength. It will be a natural byproduct of leaning into Jesus. Like the verses say, the heart change comes first, then our lives will follow.

  8. Wayne, you were wondering where you heard/read the following quote. (pretty cool saying!!) Just came across it in the comment box of a previous podcast…
    Mark Bouffard
    5/28/2016 at 9:49 am , Reply
    You may have seen the meme, Salvation for Dummies. It pictures Jesus knocking on the door, saying, “Let me in.” The voice from inside replies, “Why?” Jesus says, “So I can save you.” “From what?” asks the voice inside. “From what I’m going to do to you if you don’t let me in!”

  9. David – Thank you for your well thought out reply. Very helpful. Even though I look at the bible and life through different lens now clearly I am haven’t overcome years of conditioning that reads verses a certain way. I do try to consider how to read it through this different lens but sometimes (often) I fail and so can understand why so many people are led astray by them … led into believing they have to do the doing. Thanks for responding to my post. LD

  10. The uninfected life. I look at the life of Jesus. Even in the face of the cross He saw Gad as the loving Father and entrusted Himself to Him.

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