In many ways I suppose The Voice really is becoming like The Hunger Games – at least that’s the comparison made by former competitors after their shocking eliminations.
I guess the odds were not in their favor?
One would expect that a show called The Voice would lend itself to having contestants judged on, you know, their voice? But instead it seems as though the outcomes are becoming eerily similar to another singing competition that rhymes with Shamerican Shidol.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like, though, to go through the “blind chair” auditions. Can you fathom the size of the knot in the stomachs of those going through the tryouts? Here you are, pouring your heart and soul into the best effort you can humanly muster, and you’re still not sure if any of the judges will hit the magic button of acceptance.
As I’ve watched The Voice through the years, I’ve been struck with the thought of another similarity that exists between the show and billions of people.
No, not the idea that we all want to be famous performers – although that does sound like a fun ride. I’m thinking more along the lines of religion.
What religion? ALL religions, because they all follow a set up where you pour your heart and soul (literally) into a performance-based “audition” before whatever god or gods you believe in. At the end of the day, you only hope to god that you will be accepted when your tryout (which is life, in this case) is done.
For the Buddhist and Hindu, your “song” is your karma, and you desperately want to escape what you believe is a seemingly eternal reincarnation cycle.
For the Muslim, your tryout is following the Five Pillars, but even after your best efforts, Allah may choose to reject you.
And for most every other religion you can think of, there are enough rules, regulations, prayers, chantings, diets and pilgrimages to keep you busy forever, but you never know exactly what forever will look like for you.
That’s the difficult part, right? By and large, adherents to religious systems will be lying on their dying beds with a huge knot in their stomach, because they really can’t be sure that the great Adam Levine in the sky will hit his magic button of acceptance.
That’s why I am beyond overjoyed that the love of the one true God is not at all like The Voice. The Bible tells us that He does not sit in a chair and withhold His acceptance until you prove yourself worthy. That’s why authentic Christ followers technically cannot be classified as “religious,” because our qualification for entering into a relationship with our Father requires no audition! Jesus Christ met the righteous demands of God on the cross and earned the salvation that He offers freely to us by faith.
Religion – like The Voice – says “do.”
Jesus – the ultimate Judge – says “done.”
Check out these truths and see if you agree:
God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus.
You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives (Ephesians 2:4-9).
God’s love for us is more than we could even begin to fathom. Rather than being a distant judge with His backed turned, who may or may not accept us based on our “performance,” He is a loving and perfect Father who waits with open arms for His children.
So why do we do “good works”? Not because we are earning salvation like religious strivers – rather because we want to please the One who chose to die rather than live without us.
And because we did nothing to earn or deserve salvation, once we accept it, it changes who we are. We won’t be “eliminated” by the whim of an audience, rather we can rest in the confidence of this promise:
I write these things to you who believe in the name of God’s Son so that you can know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13).
Have you trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation? If not, today is the day you can loosen the knot that’s formed in your stomach because you are trying to be religious enough.
If yes, then find your “voice” and shout from the rooftops that salvation is a free gift! Join THE Cause of making disciples who make disciples, and one day we’ll hear the voice of our Father say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of heaven!”
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
So many people are trapped in the vicious cycle of religion and trying to earn God’s approval and secure their afterlife. Our hearts should break for those who live life like an audition for The Voice, and only the gospel can set them free!
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, we praise You for setting us free from religion and giving us the best relationship in the world. Help us be bold in taking on religion like You did when You walked the earth, and may others see in us the freedom that grace brings in our lives.
Read: Titus 2:11. For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people.
Discussion Questions for Leaders:
Big Idea: Religion is a lot like The Voice in that it is a performance-based system that leaves people nervous about succeeding. Christianity is a relationship that is given to us by grace through faith.
Key Scripture: Ephesians 2:4-10
- How would you do on The Voice?
- Do you agree that religion is like The Voice? Why or why not?
- How can we help people break free from religion?
- In what ways could you apply this soul fuel to THE Cause?