Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Well at least i'm not as bad as them"

Everyday we go through life thinking that as long as we are somewhat better than the next person then we are in good shape. I got to thinking about the statement above and it really took me back to a lot of my childhood. When I was a kid my sister and I were always getting into trouble and trying to bail each other out. However on the rare occasion we were bailing ourselves out we often said, "Well Stephanie did this..." or "Michelle did this..." My parents classic response was, "we are not talking about her right now." They always made sure to remind us that we were accountable for our own actions, what the other person did or did not do didn't matter. Today that applied to church.

Part of the lesson today was the concept that we are responsible for our own salvation. We cannot base our relationship with Christ off the next guy. So often we look at other people's lives and make it known we are in good shape because we are not as bad as them. Funny thing is, God doesn't care who is worse than the other, he cares about your relationship with Him and that's it. All the outside noise and distractions mean nothing unless you have a one on one relationship with Christ. I am no exception to this post, I catch myself ALL the time saying, "Wow, at least I am not that bad." Today I felt completely convicted because just as a child that gets in trouble, we are responsible for the actions and comments we do and make. If we constantly base our life off of others, where does that get us? An empty life with false hope of going to Heaven? No thanks! Lesson learned!

I am beyond proud of my walk with Christ because of how much it has flourished over the last few months. I want to be a role model for young women who are around me and make it clear that it is perfectly okay and fabulous to be a woman of God. I will never sit here and say I am perfect and do not struggle with temptations but I can say I am honestly working on keeping myself in check instead of being concerned with everyone else. We have to remember, certain people are in a certain place in their lives and although we may view ours as less chaotic and crazy, it is all the same because my struggles and fears might be another's strengths. Focus on God above and what he has planned for you, no more thinking that you are better than someone because you do good works. Just an FYI good works don't get you to Heaven! Have a great night! God Bless and lets make this a great week!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I am a follower of God, not a follower of religion...

As a serious attempt to procrastinate my paper that is due tomorrow I find myself having time to write a new blog! Yay team! It has been one heck of a week, let me tell you. Sadly I have become one of those people who now take naps. I hate it, but hey when you juggle as much as I do, any sleep is fabulous! Sunday I went to church and was so excited because our new series is God vs. Religion. This topic is so very dear to my heart, purely because I have struggled with religion since high school. I think as kids we have a habit of adapting to whatever we grow up around and although my parents never said I had to belong to a religion it was a necessity to attend church. The older I got the more I started to realize that religion had quite a few hiccups. The famous quote by Gandhi has always been one that I have respected for a million reasons. "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

I never really stopped to think about that quote until high school. Now that being said, I still went along with religion and used it as an answer to every question when someone asked me about my faith. However recently my answer has changed and I am beyond proud that it has. When people ask me what religion I am, I answer with, "I am a follower of Christ and a daughter of my Savior." I feel like that is better than calling myself a Christian, because although I am, I feel like that can often affect their view of me. After the sermon on Sunday I was so empowered because my pastor hit it right on the nose. Religion gets in the way of your relationship with Christ. If you are so concerned with fitting in with your church and if you are doing things correctly, you are missing the concept of church. Obviously attending church builds your knowledge of the bible and God, well it should at least, however if we become so concerned with the, "protocol," of that church then aren't we missing something?

I have gone through such an enormous transformation in the last 4 months it is incredible. I feel so much more at peace than I used to, I know that although my life is far from easy I have God to guide me and lead me to the cross. All my belongings and accomplishments mean nothing without thanking God for all he has provided. I find myself worrying less about what people think of me, or what they say to me or about me. My God is a merciful God and as long as I am right with him all else will fall into place as it should. I strive to be a follower of God not a follower and conformer to religion. I think the idea of religion is a great one, however the interpretation is up to the follower. If you worry about doing things right like closing your eyes when you pray or standing to worship, I think that is missing the point. The point is to glorify God and pour his grace to everyone you possibly can.

I no longer surround myself with hurtful and fake people. No disrespect but I would rather have you be completely imperfect and real than flawless and fake. Think twice before you associate yourself with religion, it is not always a bad thing and it might be just what you need. However do not let it cloud the path to God. Have a fabulous day and God bless!