We had some great conversation the other night with some of the people in this world that we are the very closest to. These are friends that come from all different backgrounds, have differing political views, are at different stages in their lives, yet we relate remarkably well. In fact, these are friendships that have survived major storms, and have come out the other side just as strong. These are the kind you hold onto with all you’ve got because they are made of real stuff.
First, we all laughed like crazy for hours about nothing and everything and all of a sudden we found ourselves in a deep and meaningful conversation about our faith. That is our common denominator; the tie that binds.
What is interesting is that each one of us has been hurt or turned off by “religion”. Each of us have had to find our own path to the One Who loves us despite all that’s been done in His name. I know we are not alone.
Since the first sin when some folks decided to do things their own way and leave God out of the process, mankind has been busy doing what they think should be done instead of the simplicity God intended. All He looked for was for His creation to walk in the garden with Him, enjoy the beauty (and food) He created for them, and spend time with Him.
And then we botched that all up!
Over the next few thousand years we asked for laws and kings and created a religiosity, based on a need for control–a set of rules which creates a hierarchy and levels of achievement. Law is, after all, cleaner and something to be understood and calculated.
It is much easier in one way to follow a system than to grasp the concept of grace.
But, Jesus, Himself, was completely disgusted with that religion. Man had once again, turned from the concept of walking hand in hand with Him and instead found our own way to do things. So, He chose to hang with the folks with questions and yearnings, and openly spoke against the ones who claimed to have all the answers.
He offered up Himself as a road to grace. A path to accept a relationship. Grace is really so simple that it’s complicated. Listen to this message sometime. It has changed me.
So, we talked the other night, about what being a Christian is in today’s world. As I’ve written before, those of us who fall in that category have done a fantastic job of ruining that name. Think for a minute of someone you know that doesn’t want any part of Christianity. Why?
Please, no hate mail, but we have created a club-like atmosphere that says we are in and you are out. We have the answers and you don’t. This is what religion should look and sound like, and we need to teach you how to be more like us.
This is not my attempt to be judgmental. This truly breaks my heart. Like my husband says, Christians spend so much time trying to tell the world how much we love God instead of letting our living show how much He loves us! Less talk, more action.
How do I represent? Do people listen to my words because my life shows how loved I am?
It’s a question we who fall under the label “Christian” better be asking ourselves. Are we showing what we are saying? If the ten people we interact most with in a week were asked based on our behavior only, how have we represented?
It’s got to be more than words.
Way fewer words, much more living it out.
What “it” is cannot be grasped. It is mind-boggling, yet so very simple. There is no thing we can do to earn or achieve it. It is extended to us freely, without cost. Striving to DO or BE has to be thrown away. Throw out all Christian rules, words, programs, standards, studies, churches, leaders, and what’s left?
A Savior and His naked creation.
We either desire with all of our hearts to seek His hand and hold on throughout every day, or we let go of it and do things our own way.
We come naked and empty-handed or we don’t come at all.
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