Religion: “a system of beliefs or a code of moral conduct that judges (qualifies or disqualifies) a person based on their adherence and obedience to certain codes, rules, laws, traditions, or the performance of required acts.”
Lately, my heart has been hurting. Specifically, my heart has been hurting for those that directly or inadvertently live out their Christian faith in accordance with this definition.
Unfortunately, there are many many Christians out there that choose to define their faith, first and foremost, in this manner:
- I don’t…cuss *gasp
- I don’t…drink *gasp
- I don’t…party *gasp
But, I DO make sure to:
- Go to church every Sunday
- Tithe the right amount of my earnings each year
- Pray daily for the deliverance of the Democrats
Friends, I am here to tell you that Christianity is so much more than the things you choose to separate yourself from, what party you affiliate yourself with, and the seat you warm at church. If these are the most definitive Christian qualities about yourself, I highly encourage you to sit down and re-prioritize the qualities that define your faith.
Are you known for your selflessness? Your kindness or gentleness? Your loving and joyful spirit? Your humble heart? Your encouraging attitude? Your tears shed for those that are hurting? The sacrifices you make daily for others? And if so, do you exhibit these qualities freely to all people despite their beliefs, ethnicity, political affiliation, gender, age, or sexual orientation? Or are you kinda selective about it?
These qualities should positively radiate from each and every Christian, the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians. These feelings shouldn’t be forced, but should be exemplified freely just as God has already freely granted us His gift of His amazing grace.
Religion tells us that we must earn our salvation by not doing evil. Christianity tells us that all we need to do is believe that Christ has already paid the price for the evil we have done. There is nothing else we need to do to be right with God…Christianity is about what God has already done to provide us the opportunity to be right with Him!
Christianity is supposed to defy all logic and all reason, not close its self off in yet another box labeled “Religion #…” with its own set of rules and ordinances we must follow. Radically love all others the way that Jesus did when He came down to free us from sin and the confines of religion. No exceptions.
He doesn’t love all others with the exception of you.