Religion Shouldn't Be Part Of A Checklist

I don't typically write things about my faith. So many exciting (and sometimes straight-up ridiculous) political things are happening and I want to talk about them. And I guess that area is kind of where I found my niche in writing. But, with Easter approaching, today seemed like a good time to write about the topic of Christian life.

I've been a Christian since I was ten years old; went to Christian elementary school and tried not to stray too far from Christian friendships. Growing up in rural Georgia, religion is easy to take for granted-- it becomes just another part of your everyday life.

In college, I've had a tendency to make "Christian" just another bullet point on my list of labels-- along with Republican, political science major, wannabe straight-A student, fan of iced coffee and binge-watcher of Parks and Rec. Prayer, church, Bible-reading and talking to the friend who deemed herself as my "accountability partner" become rote tasks to be completed without much genuine joy.

I recently realized how rote my Christianity has become. And I have realized that I am genuinely not okay with the hollow feelings that come with rote Christianity.

Religion should never be part of a checklist. It shouldn't be compartmentalized, along with school, work and club activities. It's not always fun, but it shouldn't be joyless. Feeling God's love is definitely not always easy. When all our friends are graduating and planning their weddings and our lives feel stagnant and meaningless, love is not the emotion that comes to mind. But when we're secure in how loved we have been, showing kindness and compassion to other people is much simpler.

Being a Christian shouldn't feel like a task. It shouldn't be taken for granted. I think if we comprehended how deep God's love truly is-- and what a strange and wonderful mystery His love for us is-- we'd have an easier time loving Him as well as loving other people.

I'm going to keep living my life. I'm going to keep writing, studying politics, drinking coffee and going to work. I might keep complaining, and I probably won't ever be a model Christian. But I hope I never again fall into a pit of routine in which Jesus is not a priority. When I think of how the Creator of the universe loves me so deeply, I have a hard time thinking of faith in Him as merely part of a checklist.

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