Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hating the Word "Religious"

Some words just clang against my ears, like a singer way off pitch or feedback from a microphone.

Being called "religious" is one of those words.

courtesy of dictionary.reference.com

I used to be religious.  I used to be concerned with "exhibiting religion," showing others that I followed the rules and regulations and traditions of my church.

And then I met Jesus.  And Jesus wasn't religious.

Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?" Matthew 9:14

Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat." Matthew 15:1-2

But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath." Matthew 12:2

 The religious Pharisees didn't like what Jesus was doing and He didn't bend to their will.

For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. John 6:38

Jesus did not come to pursue religion; He came to pursue the will of the Father, to do what the Father asked of Him.

So what does the father ask of us?

And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27

Don't get lost in pursuing "religion"; pursue God, pursue loving your neighbors--that is, everyone you meet: your spouse, your kids, your family, your friends, the cashier at the grocery store, even your literal neighbors.

Love them because you are loved beyond measure, not to check something off a religious to-do list.

What about you?  Does the term "religious" bother you?

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