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I have to go on a rant, and I am sorry that I do…but I cannot help it. The whole reason I blog is because it helps me to process. I promised myself when I began this that I would be as vulnerable and honest as I could, because really, I have found that so many people are going through the same things I am– or you are– and if just one person is brave enough to talk about it, others won’t feel so trapped in and stuck.

As you can tell from my posts I am a Christian. One of those born again bible believing folks. I really do love God and believe in His son, Jesus. Since the day that I fist put my faith in Jesus a fire was sparked in me. I wanted to know the God who saved me through His son, and I so wanted to please the one who saved me. Anything I could find to read and enhance my growth, I read. If there was a commandment stated in a verse I tried my hardest to live it out. I wanted so badly to do this thing right! To be obedient, prove faithful, worthy of the price that was paid. I studied, worshiped, studied some more, prohibited myself from participating in anything that I interpreted as sin…and so it has gone for days, weeks, months, and years.

Now, before you just see me as a bound up religious nut, it hasn’t all been rigorous rule-based living. There has been MUCH in my walk of faith that has been a genuine heart seeking and experiencing a genuine relationship with the God who is FULL of grace and love. Much, but far from all.

The thing is, I can’t do the religious part of this anymore. My heart has become increasingly dissatisfied with everything that my Christianity has become, and not only mine but much of the Christianity I see around me. I don’t think that this was what is was intended to be.

Everywhere I look in the Gospels, I see Jesus living, preaching and teaching, “Do no harm.”.

To the tax collectors: Do not take more than what you are required. Quit robbing people. Don’t let greed lead you. Do no harm.

To the religious leaders: Stop putting cumbersome rules on the people that don’t add any value to their relationship with God. Stop telling them to do things you won’t even do yourselves. Stop being so proud and thinking you are above others. Do no harm.

To the woman caught in adultery: Go and sin no more. Stop hurting yourself, this other man, his wife, and your husband. You are harming your relationship with these people. Do no harm.

To the rich young man: Give up all your wealth and follow me. Serve. Think of others. Don’t just acquire stuff for your own satisfaction. Don’t make it all about you. Do no harm.

To his own disciples: Quit worrying about who is the greatest. Learn to put others first. Learn to serve. Learn to be little. It’s all about loving others. Do no harm.

To the money changers at the temple: Stop extorting people. Stop using their desire to practice religion as a means for your gain. Stop looking out for number one. If you loved these people you wouldn’t take advantage of them. Do no harm.

To Peter when he lopped off the soldier’s ear: Put your sword away. Don’t take revenge. Show love even for your enemies. Do no harm.

Everywhere I look I see, “Do no harm.” What I DON’T see is…

Focus on politics and how evil the world is…

Spend endless amounts of time arguing doctrines and theologies…

Practice apologetics so you can win the argument…

Close yourself off from others so you can focus on your own holiness and not be corrupted…

Critique how others worship and correct them if it doesn’t match how you worship…

Spend oodles of time studying and arguing end times theories instead of just living right where you are, in the time where you are, and loving those around you right now…

Make someone praying the “sinner’s prayer” your goal. Forget about the relationship. Forget about the person. “Win souls”…

Please forgive me for being so critical. I truly criticize myself. This is not meant to represent any particular church or person, rather a mentality. If the finger points anywhere it is right to my own disillusioned and religious heart. That is the reason for the rant. That is the purpose. That is why I need to process. All these things have been in me. All these things drove my faith for far too long. I still see the lingering of these shadows as the light pours in. I feel the fear of severing the tie to religion because it feels safe and familiar. My faith won’t look like some of my friends anymore. People might not understand that nothing matters to me after this point besides, “Do no harm.”  I used to be the girl who wanted to teach the study. I was the girl who wanted to help others grow in “obedience”. But obedience to what? True obedience to God (which is “do no harm”) or obedience to a particular way of thinking?

Thank you for lending me your ear. Allowing me the time. I needed a public divorce to let this thing go. I just pray that in my attempt to get free from it, my words were not used to “do harm” to other Christians — only a mentality.

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “Do No Harm…

  1. Well said, Maria!! Wanting to get away from “religion” and into “relationship” ends up bearing more fruit. You are great at loving others and exemplifying the simple Gospel message xoxo

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    1. Thank you friend! I believe it will. Growing feels unfamiliar and awkward at times, but so worth it. I pray that I will abound more and more in love for God and others. You are a shining example of His precious love ❤

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  2. I admire how you’ve pointed out that a God-centric, faith-based life isn’t about religion, but rather about relationships. Religion is about rules and regulations. Relationships are about fellowship. This is why, when asked which was the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:35-40), Jesus pointed out that loving God with everything within ourselves was the keystone — not only with regards to our relationship with God, but with others.

    Of course, now you’ve opened up the proverbial “can of worms.” Your desire to live a life of “do no harm” (and subsequently, placing religious traditions on the sideline) will — sad to say — be seen by some around you as a “sign” that you are falling away from the “faith.” Shrug it off. A relationship with God far out-weighs a religious mindset any day of the week — and thrice on Sundays.

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