The Difference Between A Relationship And Religion
I was talking with a guy here recently about life. A military man. This guy has quite the story, a lot I can relate and not relate to, been through more than most in a short period of time being in his early thirties. It’s no wonder the reason he questions his relationship to God. He believes there is something, a higher power; but the God of the Bible and Christianity, not buying it or any other gods/god of the many facets to other religions.
Did you know that anger can be a religion?
How about a sport like soccer?
Even the military?
I resonate especially with the first two “anger” and “soccer”. But now, my religion, is my grandma. That might seem weird, but I’m telling you, only if you knew my grandma would you understand. This woman believes in visiting the orphans and widows in their †distress, that is literally her job as a caregiver at 77 (nearly 78) years old. I’ve seen my small but strong and wise grandma lift and guide an older gentlemen from his seat to the wheelchair and help people in their distress over and over again.
I’ve witnessed how this woman (my grandma) has loved a family that has rejected her time and time again. My grandma has slept outside in her cold car because she was unwelcome by family only to come back and love again and again. How… do… you… do… that? I’ve heard and seen the treatment, the abuse, she’s endured for the sake of Who she believes in and yet with humility sharing only her mistakes without blaming anyone else. She was told where to sit and what to do if she wanted to see her grand kids and guess what…she did. Writing this infuriates me, yet remembering, “Nathan, Nathan, how I was treated doesn’t matter…” are you kidding me!
My grandma is the type that might scold me for this praise but you’re reading a result of her labor in the Lord her God and I’ll scream aloud “Jesus Christ is Lord!” Because no navy seal can compare to my grandma, bring it! Just kidding, don’t hurt me. The point is religion is a religious practice of what you believe. And my grandma practiced hard with her Bible not only in hand or by word, but her actions. It’s true there are a lot of religions that provoke a lot of questions and demand certain practices, but that is the reason I labor for the preaching of the gospel to all nations.
Because religion to the gospel is defined by visiting the orphans and widows in their distress while being unstained by the world. It is not putting yourself in chains as though you can’t have fun or enjoy life. But it is respecting the true God of your soul and having a relationship with Him every moment of every day. I’m not saying you can’t have a drink of alcohol unless it’s to your destruction (abuse it—then don’t drink it). I’m not saying don’t have a cigarette or cigar, maybe even marijuana depending on where you live, but not to your destruction (addicted—then don’t smoke it).
You might be convinced you’re unable to break a bad habit, but respectfully, you’re wrong. That is like saying, “I won’t stop cheating on my wife because I’m unable, I’ll get cranky, so wheres my porn at!” We all have the ability but lack the discipline because we’re given over to not caring, “who cares”. The One Who created us cares, God didn’t create an experience (sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll) to be abused or take control of you. Have an experience in moderation and respect of wisdom and honor. Now that … is quite a thrill!
Don’t make a religion your excuse not to believe in this gospel being preached to you. We need more Christians speaking, writing, videoing the essential of the gospel of Jesus Christ; Not speaking, writing, videoing my/their personal preference, expectation, or standard of life change—the Holy Spirit of God that convicts every believer will do that work of salvation, justification, and sanctification. We are just providential agents.
I love you Grandma,