It's not about the rules

What Does Christianity Mean To Me?

It's not about the rules and passing judgement on those who don't follow them; for me, it's so much more.

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I am simply not perfect. I sin everyday. That is not something I like to admit, obviously, but as humans, we all sin and it is a sin to say you don't sin because you do. As disheartening as that sounds, I actually found peace when I stopped trying to be a perfect Christian, because the fact is, I never will be. However, I can try to be the best version of myself and to me that means love all people.

I do not deserve God's love. He sent His son to this earth to die a brutal death so everyone could have a chance to live in eternity with Him. Whether you believe in God or not, that love is pretty reckless. Love in this day in age has so many conditions and unspoken rules, but what if everyone loved like Jesus loved us?

I will never understand why some Christians feel the need to judge others for their actions. I am no perfect than the guy or girl next to me, so why would my life be anymore valuable in God's eyes than his or hers? In this world, we view some sins are worse than others. But to God, he views them all equal. A murder, a cheater, and a liar are all equal in God's eyes. So what is the point in passing judgement? Also, it's not up to us whatsoever about what that means for those people later in life, so I say again, what's the point in passing judgement?

This realization that is very easy to grasp, but hard to practice is something I try to think about as I live my day to day life. Basically, I believe we are all called to love one another. Whether that's smiling at a person you pass on the sidewalk, holding a door open, texting a friend, spending quality time with someone who needs it, we are called to love. This has put a lot of my anxieties to rest, because I try my hardest to forgive easily, and love more. Forgiveness is not something that means you are being taken advantage of, but the opposite. Anger is no longer taking advantage of YOU. Living this way has freed my soul in every aspect of life.

Whether you believe in God or not, I think we all can agree that loving others would make this world a better place. As cheesy as it sounds, I think that it's the best thing I have thought of in a long time. I'm not saying I'm perfect at it, because I sin and make mistakes everyday. However, once I try again, I have lived a more positive lifestyle. This is a reminder to myself as well to love more intentionally. Seeing how this impacts my life and the relationships in it has made all the difference.

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From The Christian Who Supports Your Sexuality, Whatever It Is

Being a Christian does not equal hating members of the LGBTQ+ community.
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Yes, I have lied before.

Yes, I have stolen candy from a grocery store before.

Yes, I have cursed and said the Lord’s name in vain.

All of these things are Biblical sins. These are all actions that God has instructed us not to do. But as you read them, you probably thought, “Oh, that’s no big deal. Everyone has done that.” So when I say the next thing, keep an open mind.

Gay is okay.

What? Offended? Why? Because the Bible says that man shall not lay with man and woman should not lay with woman? That’s true, the Bible does say that. It also says you shouldn’t get divorced, you shouldn’t have pre-marital sex, you shouldn’t lie, and you shouldn’t steal. But those things are so common in today’s society that we all turn the other cheek to them.

I don’t want to argue or offend. I’m not here to preach that everyone sucks and we all fall short of God’s glory with sin. We all know that happens every day, to every single one of us.

I’m only here to say one thing: I don’t care who’s gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning. I don’t care who you love or how you choose to express it. It doesn’t matter to me. And why?

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

-Matthew 7:1-2

As a Christian, I am not called to judge you and tell you that you are wrong and I am right. I am not here to tell you that you are living your life wrong or loving people incorrectly. I am not called to act better than you.

As a Christian, I am called to love you. I am called to always find something in everyone that is worthy of love; and I believe that search is short and easy when you open your heart to those who are different from you.

As Christians, we are instructed to share the gospel. Gospel translates into “the good news”. And it is very, very good news. God forgives us of our sins. He shows us the purest, most important form of love that there is: His love in unconditional. That’s amazing news. The gospel is not that God doesn’t love you, or loves you less, because of your sins. Let’s not spread that news around.

For this reason, it hurts my heart when I see protesters with signs that say, “God hates gays” or something that similarly says the same thing. I was taught, and I choose to believe, that God loves you. God loves you and you and you and me. God loves you. I can never say this enough. You were made in His image; He thinks you’re beautiful and wonderful and so so incredibly lovable. He loves your smile and your heart and your soul.

And He loves me (sorry to sound braggy, but I’m really happy about that). I choose to foster that love and do my part to help it grow by obeying as much as I can. I fall short. For the love of all the goodness in the world, I and my family and my friends know all too well that I fall short daily.

One of God’s commands to me is to love everyone that I can. Another command, one that I try to take very seriously, is to never ever judge people. Again, I fall short in both departments. Loving our neighbors and loving our enemies is extremely hard.

One thing that makes it easier for me: I don’t view the LGBTQ+ community as my enemy. I love them. I love their pride, their hearts, their fearlessness, and their reckless optimism. I am different from them, but I am not better.

So no, I am not offended by the Gay Pride Parades. I am not offended by the rainbow flags. I am not offended when I see two men or two women holding hands. I love that they are happy and free and in love. Love is all that matters, and we should choose, every day, to spread that love around.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!

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I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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