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September 16, 2023 | Daily Devotionals | September 16

Relationship vs. Religion

“Spiritual abuse is rather like any physical or sexual abuse,” says U2 front man Bono.  “It brings you to a place where you can’t face the subject ever again. It’s work for the sexually abused to ever enjoy sex again.  So, too, people who are spiritually abused by religion have difficulty approaching the subject of religion with fresh faith.  They wince and twitch.  In a way religious life is trying to get through a mind field without coming out of it in a wheelchair. Religion distances people from a real relationship with a living and loving God and leaves survivors with a spiritual limp.  In short, religion messes everything up.”

So how religious have I become? Am I distant from the real needs of those around me? Am I judgmental toward outsiders, afraid to get dirty, or “playing Christian” to feel better? Rest assured that Satan is playing you.  The way you fight this, Jesus says, is by simply being the good neighbor who walks humbly, acts compassionately, and loves mercy.  If you are thinking these qualities are not manly, you’re right.  They’re godly.

Relationship is the core of Christianity not religion. Religion asks the question: “am I good enough?” It makes everything about me. The Spiritual relationship with the Father is all about Him and how much he loves me. Then I reach out to others through grace, through his example, not through law. Religion honors law and my constant failure to keep it. You are forgiven, don’t keep asking for it. Thank Him for it.

Father, habits are difficult to overcome.  I believe you have forgiven me for all my sin. Thank you!


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