Christianity For Real
Are you a Christian?
I have a friend who when asked this question responds, "Well that depends on how you define a Christian. If you define them as narrow-minded, intolerant, self-righteous people that only want to control you, then I'm not. But if you define a Christian as a person that loves Jesus, tries to model their life after His, is loving and kind to all and demonstrates peace and Joy, then yes I am.
There are so many misconceptions about Christianity and many of them come from within the church. Those that call themselves Christians are far too often misrepresenting others. In this lens I hope to identify real Christianity not as most see it, not even as the church sees it but by looking at Jesus.
Rules, Rules and More Rules
Does God want to control you?
One of the most common misconceptions about God is that all He wants to do is control us. Christianity is too often understood to be a bunch of rules that God requires us to follow in order to earn His love or approval. Nothing could be further from the truth!
If control of us is what God wants then He could have easily made us to be obedient all the time. Instead He made us with the ability to choose. The reason He gave us the capability to make our own choices is love. You see love doesn't exist without choice. You've probably heard it said that, "love is a choice" well that's absolutely right.
God created us for one reason and one reason only, to love us. He enjoys loving us so much that it wouldn't be right for Him to keep us from experiencing that same enjoyment. But in order for us to know the incredible joy of love we have to be able to refuse it.
Just to be clear it would probably be a good idea to define love. I define love as caring more about another than you do yourself. So essentially love is selfless-ness and along with that love would have to be sacrificial.
What God really wants from us is nothing, what God really wants for us is everything. Because His love for us is perfect there is nothing about us that He has not considered. He wants the very best for each of us.
Now back to the control thing. Over the years I've heard many people say things like, "Since I've given God control of my life, I have found incredible joy and peace. He has met all of my needs and the things that used to seem like big deals, don't any more." And when I hear things like this I can't really disagree I guess mainly because they are stating that they made a choice to give God control.
However, I think it would be more accurate to describe what they have done as that they have chosen to trust God because they know that He knows and wants the best for them. They have entered into a relationship with The One that loves them perfectly which after all is how God wanted it from the very start.
Rules, rules and more rules; God only has one rule; love. He asks us to love Him and to love others and the scripture then tells us that all the other rules are tied to this. His love for us doesn't change based on whether we choose to love or not. His love is forever for all.
It's our choice.