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Jesus did not die to restrict us

Steve Jobs was considered to be one of the most revolutionary, creative individuals to have ever lived. This blog is being generated on one of his creations, one of many. His life has now gone but not forgotten. Similar to a simple carpenter who didn’t live in the public eye, who wasn’t able to pay exorbitant amounts to find the best spin doctors, marketing gurus, making sure the message covered the known planet. No, but will Steve Jobs still be thought of in 2000 years from now? the views of Jesus and Steve Jobs are similar, at least in terms of how the human life should develop.

Jobs was stating a pretty well-known principle which has been repeated by many through the years. Jesus, however was clear in His mission - The Son of Man came to save that which was lost, My sheep know my voice… the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy but I have come that you might have life and life in abundance… many more quotes will speak of Jesus’ desire to see us use our time wisely and not to run the race of life faster than is required.

We were created as individuals, uniquely formed not copies of some model that the world expects us to live by. Too many people fall into the trap of being who someone else decides we should be. I can hear the cry from many of you - ‘Isn’t God doing the same to us? - why do we have to conform to His pattern, then? No, I don’t see the same parallel. We have a free will, we are not preformed for some date in time when all will be revealed. We all have an opportunity to express ourselves with opportunities to grow and progress in life. God gave us a choice…

The next step is up to us. Why would we not want the best for ourselves, our families (if we have one), our friends? This is where Jobs is right in his comment. We must see our own potential with our own God-given gifts used for the benefit of all mankind. How do we get there?

As a Pastor and even when I was a Senior Executive in business, I hated to see talent, ability, opportunities thrown away by individuals. Short term gain seemed to be the answer. Too many who had resisted the challenge and held on suddenly jumped off the boat as it was about to arrive at the dock. Left scrambling to hang on but lost their way because of someone giving them the get rich quick line.

Corrections is filled with more amateur Lawyers, Accountants, Financial Advisors, Parole Officers - general know it alls who failed in their own lives but now know the answer and they can help. The bible is clear - Psalm 1 verse 1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. Advice is easy to give but, surely, we have to first see who is giving the advice. Check out the fruit and the achievements in their lives. Secondly, and even more so, check out the environment they live in. King David gave his advice 3000 years ago - that sounds like we still can struggle with the same issues today as they did in his day.

We should be all agreed - Time is precious. We can all make mistakes and take a long walk down a the wrong road. We can come to a 4 way stop and make the wrong decision. Once you have decided that it was the wrong way, STOP, turn around and go back to when you knew what you were doing. Get back onto the right road and enjoy the next phase of your life. If I picked 10 inmates and reviewed their response to advice, I would expect 3 to take a good positive direction, 3 to try it and give up soon after, 2 offer a thank you and do nothing and 2 reject ‘the some Christian guy trying to convert me’ reaction. Does this sound a bit like another Bible account - Matthew 13 about the Sower seeds which fell in the footpath, in the rocks, in the thistles and only one quarter of his seed fell in good soil.

There can be too many negative influences on us. If you’ve tried to respond to the wrong advice that should help you to re-direct your attention towards positive advice. That only makes sense - look at your situation and review your choices. Some maybe wrong - if so, correct them and back into alignment with Good’s plan for life.

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