October 06, 2009

Encouraging Words 10/6/09-Religion Is Easy

From Relevant Magazine:

Religion (in an admittedly strictly Christian sense of the word) is a verb. It is an external act without internal change. It means living a life where God only exists in our daily habits, but not in our heart. It is an easy way into heaven. A way in which we give nothing up, except maybe an hour a day for a devotion. Maybe it’s even just that hour per week that you make it to church.

That, my friends, is a lie. Here is the truth: “The most important one [command],” answered Jesus, “is this … ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31, NIV).

I am sure most of you have heard this at some point in your life. The gist is quite easy to figure out actually: love God first, love people second. That is it. Do you see anything about going to church? Here’s a hint: I don’t.

Sadly, our culture has turned loving God into a one-hour per week coffee date. We’ve turned it into something we simply put on our to-do lists and weekly calendars. Think about what would happen if that was what your relationship with your spouse looked like. Or with your best friend. Would it get the job done? I won’t even give you a hint for that one because the answer is too easy.

If you are someone whose spiritual life revolves around a checklist of going to church, reading your Bible, praying, evangelizing or even serving the homeless, you are living a religion.

Click here to read the rest of the essay and get a taste of what living beyond religion means.

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