Religion Vs Relationship: From a Personal Perspective



    When I used to be referred to, by some people as someone very religious, I never said anything, or tried to correct them, because in some ways, they were right.  At some point in my life, I was exactly that; very religious. You might be wondering where I’m going with this? I’ll have to ask you to please bear with me as I take you through what changed the way I began to approach Jesus Christ, and became fully accepting of His love for me.
See, though I grew up a Christian, I was raised in a society/ Church community that taught me that I had to earn God’s love by doing works, and that was exactly what I did. Your guess is as good as mine. What that did to me was that whenever I messed up, down to this “quilt lane” I went. I would beat myself to no end, and the more I tried to earn God’s love, the worse of a believer I became.  As I got to know more about God and His love for me, without having to live by what I was taught or how I was raised, it began to make sense to me that God is not about us following or trying to, on our own, keep certain rules. And He is certainly not about use earning brownie points so as to make it into heaven, but that He wants to have a relationship with us.  God wants to show us how crazy in love He is with us.
Phew! How freeing this was for me. As I began to realize that God wanted to show me how much He loves me, and that He wasn’t after my performing some rituals or trying to earn His love by doing works that I couldn’t even keep up with, everything started to fall in place in my walk with Him. My service to God now is not from a place of being forced, or trying to earn “brownie points,” but from a place of love, and understanding what grace truly is. I now understand that I have been saved by grace through faith, and that it is not my own doing. And being aware that it is all God’s gift to me, that there is nothing I could ever have done to have earned it (Ephesians 2:8-9, paraphrased), has helped me stay grounded in my faith, and I now really enjoy serving God and sharing His love with everyone who cares to listen. Now when I’m told I’m religious, I quickly correct them and say “no, I’m actually in a relationship with Jesus Christ.”
If I can leave you with anything, let it be that being in a relationship with God makes you a better Christian. You are better able to empathize with others, and are quick to forgive their shortcomings.
Isaiah 64:8-9, Psalm 103:13-14, Matthew 6:9-13, Galatians 4:6, Psalm 42:7- I hope these verses would help you come to understand how much God yarns for a relationship with you. He is crazy about you.
Blessed night every, and thanks for your kind word.

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