As we move through Lent and toward the cross, I am  mindful of the  endless number of Christians I meet whose main goal appears to be "working harder" on their faith; trying harder to be a "good Christian," which - if you know me - you know is my least favorite phrase of all time.

 I wonder what might happen in the church if, instead of working harder, we encouraged people to practice accepting the love of God for them rather than earning it.

What if faith in Jesus is, in the end, all about trusting rather than trying?

Take Brennan Manning's words with you into these next days before Good Friday. 

Let them unsettle you ...

Manning asks:

"Do you really accept the message that God is head over heels in love with you?

I believe this question is at the core of our ability to mature and grow spiritually.

If in our hearts we really don't believe that God loves us as we are, 

if we are still tainted by the lie that we can do something to make God love us more,

we are rejecting the message of the cross."