Relationship, Not Rules

Relationship, Not Rules

"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." -Ephesians 4:2


First and foremost, I want to be clear and forward when I say that this article is not a “Hellfire and damnation” rant. This article certainly is not a “Holier than thou” piece that I have thrown together, but a piece that has been weighing on my heart to share. Lastly, I want to add that this is absolutely in no way shape or form an article meant to come across as sacrilegious or mock the Word of God. I do feel the need to express the fact that Christianity is not a binding list of “do’s and don’ts," but rather it is a thriving relationship with Jesus Christ, where our main focus as Christians, is to live a way of life that reflects His love and kindness for us. With that being said, I challenge each and every one of us to leave the judgment and critiquing of others to Him.

During this difficult time of our nation being divided in more ways than one, I feel that this article is applicable to many. With recent events like the Presidential election, biased news, and the constant negativity I’ve seen on social media, I feel the need to share that I do think a thriving relationship with Jesus Christ is important. Yet, how do others see the projection of our faith? Is it judgmental? Is it boastful? Is it arrogant? This relationship with the King of Kings should not be seen as a list of rules and automatic damnation if those rules are beseeched. Who are we?

I truly do not picture Our Savior as someone who walks around saying “Thou shalt not (insert sin). Thou shalt not this and though shalt not that,” yet those who claim to be Christians are judging more on a daily basis than the book of Revelation. (Hint: shoving a Bible verse down someone’s throat doesn’t work like a pill). Do I believe in doing good works, and helping others? Absolutely. Is Jesus walking around with a leather bound journal labeled “All the things you’ve done wrong today”? Absolutely not.

Let me also say that I understand there will be a judgment day for all of us. I understand that we will have to answer to areas in which we’ve failed. Again, leave that to Jesus Christ himself. Using social media, technology, and other impersonal methods of communication in order to point out the flaws of someone else in accordance with what is right and wrong in God’s eyes is, well, tacky. I am a firm believer in keeping those that we love accountable, yet I am also a firm believer in God’s first commandment: Love. Not only is love the first thing that God gave to us through the sacrifice of His Only Son, love should be the first thing that we give to others. You can argue that keeping someone accountable for his or her actions is an act of love, and I do not disagree. I just want to challenge all of us to think about how we approach differences. Instead of using God’s word as a reference to shame someone’s actions, use His word to reflect on your own actions and accept those that are lost for the hope that they will come to know His love through your own love and acceptance.

I hope that this article portrays nothing other than the fact that I see Our Savior as kind, forgiving, and accepting, along with so many other indescribable adjectives that we will never fully live up to, yet I challenge you to try. Be kind like Him. Forgive like He does daily. Accept all walks of life, like He accepted our sin on the cross.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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