Religion Focuses on the Results

All religions are the same.  They are man-centered and results oriented.

What about Christianity?  Authentic Christianity is not a religion.  It’s a relationship.  It’s a lifestyle fueled by the life of Christ in His Community, the Church.  We live by His life.  His life is revealed in us by our oneness with Him and each other.  In my flesh dwells no good thing, but the life I now live “in” this flesh is lived not by my faith (belief) but by the faith of the Son of God Who loved me and gave his life for me.  The death of Jesus was to get the life of Jesus in us.

As a young father and pastor I led my family in morning devotionals.  I would go early to my study for personal quiet time and return home in time for our family breakfast before returning to the office.   Dee and I believed it was our responsibility to raise godly, right-living citizens/church members.  We believed we knew what that looked like and sought to manage those results.  When we saw the results we wanted, we felt vindicated in our beliefs.  When we did not see those results, we redoubled our efforts, expressed our disappointment and used other forms of manipulation or force to gain the “right living” we sought.  Religion.

That’s the way religion works.  Religion is man’s efforts to please God and earn His favor.  In much the same way, it is our effort to manipulate God and encourage (or even force in the minds of some) Him to do what we want Him to do.  If we do what we think He wants and we don’t get what we want, we may give up on religion and/or God.

What I’ve just described has nothing to do with Jesus or what He wants in our lives.

As my understanding changed, I met with my children in about 1995 and apologized.  I shared with them how the Lord had helped me understand the difference between teaching them “about Jesus”, about what He said and expected of us and taking them with me into a relationship with Jesus.  It’s about a relationship, not a religion.

Personally and corporately Christianity is about relationship.  We don’t need to focus on the “desired results”.  When we know and live by the life of Jesus, He will accomplish His intent.  He will do it.  Think about it.  If others submit to our ideas of what we think Christians are and what they’re supposed to do, that is not the same thing as Jesus living His life through them.  Let us know Him together.  Let us follow Him together.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. David Roberts says:

    I don’t know if I can tie this together, but this entry made me think about the message I heard this week at church. Romans 10:1 “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” I spent so many years trying to be a good example for my children in my daily life, in the way I conducted myself and in our church life. Yes, as parents I think we all try to engineer or manage the results we want from them and in some ways it may be necessary, but not when it comes to God. As the Apostle Paul has said the answer is prayer and as our Pastor stated in his message we all pray for health, jobs, safety and so many other things for those we know, but the first and most important should be their salvation. Not to make lite of being a good example for those around us or teaching our children all the right things, but no matter what else a person does in this life, pray first for their salvation through Jesus Christ and I believe God will take care of their needs.

  2. Bill Wright, Jr. says:

    Thank you Brother!

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