“For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” -1 John 5: 3-4
His commandments are not burdensome. Why would John say that? In essence, there would be no reason to argue that the commandments are not “burdensome” unless people believed that they were.
Unfortunately, when people think of the church, they generally do not think of it as “victorious” or “overcoming the world” as verse four suggests. They think more along the lines of: “boring, oppressive, burdensome,” and that is how a lot of Christian testimonies tend to go: “Before I met Christ, I was the life of the party, and now I knit every night and wear grey, and I’m mostly a good person.”
The truth is that a life truly following God is the opposite of boring or burdensome. If you look at our reading of Daniel seven and eight, we have a vision with eagle-lions and leopard-birds and then God mentioned as the “ancient of days” demolishing all of them. How is that for a story to tell at the next family reunion?
In both readings: Daniel and first John, we see a God who is not burdensome. He is powerful and victorious, and may I suggest that He gives us these commandments, because He knows how we were made (in His image), and He wants to offer us a manual in order to live in an extraordinary way that “overcomes the world,” not to just be “good people.”
Have you ever wandered away from God believing that His way was “boring” or “bothersome?” If so, what prompted you to return or to at least read a devotional? What are some areas where you are still in the process of overcoming, and how do you think your faith can empower you to do that?