As I live day to day, I’m reminded that often times it’s easy to fall into the rut of “have to” living, rather than a “get to” way of life. What I mean by that is that it’s easy to wake up tomorrow morning with the mentality that I “have to” take a shower and that I “have to” go to work and that I “have to” take my kids to school and that I “have to” get my wife flowers for Valentine’s Day. If I’m not careful, I begin to lean into the law of living a “have to” life. When life becomes a “have to,” I stop appreciating the joy and gift that life was created to be.

As a matter of fact, that’s what separates Christianity from all other religions. Our relationship with God is not based on what we “have to” do for Him. He is satisfied with us because of what Christ has done for us. God’s love and forgiveness is given because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. As a follower of Christ, I don’t “have to” do anything for Jesus to love me, except to place my faith and trust in what He has done for me. As we lean into His love and His wonderful grace, we “get to” enjoy loving God and others in this life. The apostle Paul said it this way in Ephesians 2:8,9,

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

Because of God’s grace, Christianity invites us into a “get to” way of living. We don’t have any conditions that we “have to” meet or accomplish. Instead, we “get to” live out of a relationship with our Heavenly Father who loves us. Every morning we are awakened with a new perspective of joy that is life giving. Because we are loved by God, we “get to” take a shower and enjoy running water. Because we are loved by God, we have a job and we “get to” enjoy purpose and meaning through working with others. Because we are loved by God we “get to” express our love to our wife on Valentine’s Day and we “get to” enjoy taking our children to school. When we begin to understand the depth of God’s love and grace all of life becomes a “get to” not a “have to.”