elderly women walking | Nashville Christian Family Magazine - June 2023 issue - Free Christian Magazine

I recently heard a statement, “Religion is the best place to hide from God”.  If you grew up in church like I did, sometimes the lines can get blurred between walking in an authentic relationship with Jesus versus keeping a list of rules. 

Not only growing up in church, but more so growing up in church in Nashville which is considered by some to be the buckle of the Bible Belt.  As a result, it can be somewhat trendy to be a member of a church or religious organization and unfortunately can cause us to become somewhat immune to the true heart of the gospel.

Relationship is at the heart of Jesus.  He has an answer to the problems of the world, not religion.  As a Christian, we should be prepared to give an answer when we see hopelessness and despair, not legalism. 

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” 1 Peter 3:15 NIV.

We are not called to be “sin managers” – what an unbelievable task religion has created.  Instead, we have a hope to offer a hurting world and the Bible tells us to be prepared to have an answer those whose hearts are breaking with many problems and somewhat overwhelming circumstances. 

Be willing to offer the hope that we have.  A hope rooted in a dynamic relationship with a Living God, not just a list of rules. 

Let us be able to express, from the Word, why we believe what we believe and always let love be our guide.  We have the answers.

If we lead with dogma, we do so in a pharisaical way which will surely turn off a hurting soul however, if we lead with the promises that we believe genuinely, in a heartfelt, sincere demeanor, we could introduce others to Jesus.

Be prepared to have a genuine answer when we see a problem because we do have the solution – don’t hide behind religion.

Rhonda Smart, [email protected]

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