White-knuckling can never get you where you want to go. But grace can.
You already know because you’ve tried: repeated attempts to earn God’s love and approval get you nowhere and leave you exhausted. When performance taints our relationship with him, the Christian life can turn into an unholy hustle. It was never meant to be like this.
In Saving the Saved, Pastor Bryan Loritts reveals the astonishing truth that God doesn’t want your spiritual scorekeeping. He simply wants your surrender. The punchline of the gospel of Matthew is just that—a message of grace and performance-free love to do-good, try-harder Jews who thought they had to earn their way into God’s favor. It’s an ancient message, yet it can be a lifeline to us today as we live in a world of performance metrics. Just as Matthew wrote to the Jews in his gospel, we were never meant to flounder under the pressures and anxieties of show Christianity. Make no mistake: we are called to live in obedience, but Jesus wants us to save us from the illusion that our actions can ever earn God’s acceptance of us.
In Pastor Bryan’s relevant, uncompromising style, Saving the Saved proclaims the good news that once the pressure is off to perform, we are free to abide. Beyond the man-made rules and the red tape, there is a God who knows you by name. Come and meet him as you’ve never known him before.
In a world that often measures approval based on performance, Loritts (Right Color, Wrong Culture) sets the stage for a revolution against meritocracy, an "always-try-harder" philosophy that he sees as at odds with the performance-free life God offers through Jesus. Everyone has a longing to make a difference and to feel a calling in life, writes Loritts, pastor and president of Kairos Ministries, but when people start using gifts and skills to earn social approval instead of for God's glory that pride gets in the way and the true path of faith is obscured. Lorrits writes passionately on how society's meritocratic orientation makes the daily struggle to rest only in Jesus even more difficult than it would otherwise be. Looking closely at the temptation of Christ, the Sermon on the Mount, and racial issues, Loritts explores how attempts to attain public success often hide private failure and lead to hypocrisy in pursuing "goodness." When hope and purpose come from responding to a future based on Christ's victory over death rather than on dependence on one's own merits, Loritts argues persuasively, a performance-free existence will arise, resulting in peace over worry, a desire for social justice, the ability to forgive, and improved relationships.