Most unhappy Christians are not having a good time because they are trying too hard. Actually, let me re-phrase that: They’re not unhappy because they’re trying too hard; they’re unhappy because they are trying at all.
Every religion in the world can be understood when you realize that it is exactly like athletics. The goal of every single child who kicks a soccer ball for the first time is to be Christiano Ronaldo. Every kid who dribbles a basketball wants to be Michael Jordan. Most of these kids don’t even play a sport in their schools. Some give up trying before they’ve begun. For the athlete, every fundamental drill, every programmed workout and every hour of film they watch on an opponent is to get better and better so that they can reach the very highest level of competition. You’re a beginner, then you get better and better until you go pro. One you go pro, you try to become a hall-of-famer.
That’s what every single religion in the world is like. You work hard at improving yourself, following rules, becoming more and more holy or enlightened or whatever until you are good enough to get into heaven or reach nirvana or whatever. That’s every single religion in the world... except one.
Knowing Jesus is not like becoming a pro athlete. Knowing Jesus is like being adopted. You were alone, abandoned and helpless, but Someone loved you when you didn’t think you had any hope. Someone paid a cost to make you His very own. Someone came and got you and declared you forever His very own child. When you get adopted, you aren’t barely His child and then you get better and better. No, when you are adopted, you are immediately and completely family. You are loved, accepted, wanted, protected and a rightful heir of all your Father has or is. You aren’t an athlete. You have been adopted. Stop trying to get better and just enjoy your Dad.