I brush my teeth religiously. I read books religiously. I need to work out religiously. As I listened to NPR this morning someone mentioned using a budget religiously, and I at first wondered if they were talking about Dave Ramsey. They weren’t. They were just using the word to imply ritualistically. A series of motions we go through. A legalistic method of making ourselves do something.
Lots of people say that Christianity is a relationship, not a religion; the problem is that many of our churches treat it like a religion, not a relationship.
Sure we may know the difference, but I know plenty of people who’s walk with Jesus is just a consistent legalistic string of actions. They pray, and they read their Bibles, probably more than many of us, but it’s not because of a relationship, it’s because of their religion.
I don’t want to live that way. I did for years, and I refuse to go back to it. The problem is there’s comfort in religion. There’s security in religion. We know exactly what to do and what to say. Religion is rehearsed, and prepared ahead of time. Relationships aren’t. Relationships are confusing, they are painful, they require us to be genuine and open. Relationships are the farthest thing from easy.