Have you ever had someone tell you, “I may be spiritual, not religious”, “You wear your religion on your sleeve.”, or better yet, “You’re too religious for me.” ? I have heard all 3, & more. I have even been passed up for promotions, excluded from events, lost friends, & even dates because of it. However, my faith to me is not about religion, it is about a relationship. A relationship I desire to have with the Creator of the universe.
The fact is if you read the bible, no matter the translation, Jesus had issues with the religious of that day. To them He was considered an outlaw. The author & ministry leader of Ransomed Heart, John Eldredge, calls Jesus the “Beautiful Outlaw” Besides, it is not necessarily me these people who may have said these things do not relate with, it is God in me. He said people will reject you, & even persecute you because of Him, & Him in you. Jesus came into this world of lowly means, born in an animal barn with the just rags to cover him. During His teaching, leadings, as well as serving, He did not boast of Himself, he was humble & boasted of His Father who sent Him. He hung around some of the most sinful of sinners, served, taught, & healed them & led them to the path of forgiveness, repentance & a new life of freedom.
No one is perfect, we all fall short, & a church is not a museum for saints, rather a hospital for sinners. Yes, I have faith & seek & strive to have a relationship with Jesus. I cannot separate my faith from who I am, & to Whom I seek to serve. However, I do not take assignment that I am “religious.” To me it is about a relationship & not religion.
We are approaching the birth celebration of Christ. What does this season mean to you? What is your reason to celebrate? Do you believe? Do you have your doubts? Do you feel as though you have faith? Do you struggle with faith? What challenges may you be facing as we approach the Christmas celebration & New Year?