Monday, September 17, 2007

What defines your relationship?

“Faith in God and loving him is about a relationship not about religion.” Amen! This statement is so true. It is not about religious performance, tradition, and church rules. However, many have taken this statement way too far and have decided that what is really important are our thoughts about God, our intentions, our desire to be with him, and our emotions toward him. They have created a false reality where relationship is defined almost completely by our thoughts and not our actions. This is a convenient mindset for those who do not want to truly invest their whole lives (mind, body, and spirit) into the Christian relationship.

How long will a relationship last on words and thoughts alone? How long will your marriage last if the love is only in your mind, your thoughts, and words? Saying “I love you”, while at the same time committing adultery, is not an ingredient for a lasting relationship; just like telling Jesus you love him while at the same time you continue to serve your own selfish, fleshly desires.

We fall into a form of Gnosticism when we think following Christ is primarily in the mind and spirit rather than our actions. What we do matters. James said “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey me.” What we do matters tremendously. In fact, our actions and words are evidence of our faith and let us know if we have really surrendered to Christ as his followers. What we say and do to our spouse, children, parents, in-laws, co-workers, and even enemies is a truer measure of our faith and love for Christ than simply our thoughts.

We must not allow ourselves to fall into that perverted theology that following Christ has little to nothing to do with what we do and that belief is all in the mind. So, the next time you hear that catchy phrase, “it’s about a relationship – not about religion”, remember that relationship goes well beyond our thoughts and emotions and has everything to do with our actions. Finally, out of a pure heart turned to Christ in sincere love and repentance will flow deeds and actions of love and obedience.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Excellent points. The parable of the two sons came to mind (Matthew 21:28-31).