“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” G.K. Chesterton
The first time I read this quote I was captivated by its simplicity. Every single time I read these words they continue to speak truth into my heart. Before we go any further I need you to understand one thing. When I am using the word “religion” I am not talking about the man-made version of Christianity where only good works will win God’s favor. I am talking about the Christian life that God intended His children to have; the relationship, the grace, and the love.
In the book of Ephesians, we receive a prayer from the apostle Paul “…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” [Epeshians 3:17-19] By definition a theory is a system of ideas intended to explain something, a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based, or an educated guess based on knowledge. Your religion, your faith, your relationship with the Lord, or however you choose to label it should not be a theory. It should not be a way of explaining circumstances in your life. Personally, I was just slapped in the face. I am all too guilty of defining my faith by the amount of quiet time I spend with Him, my acts of service, and even by my sometimes very colorful language choices. The world tells me Christians read their bible every day, Christians do good works, and Christians don’t cuss. Hopefully I am not the only one here overjoyed that God does NOT say these things. Yes my quiet time allows me to draw nearer to Him and yes conducting myself in a Christ-like manner will help align myself with Him. [Do with this whatever you like- I agree that choosing your language carefully is important, but I do not believe cussing makes me any less than someone who chooses not to. That’s what grace is for, right?] Guess what, missing my quiet time does not distance me from God. Acting out of character does not make God turn his back on me.
As I mentioned before, mankind has created this “religious” theory that in order for God to love us we must first please him. With this theory of religion, the Lord would not be very pleased by me. Throughout the Bible God calls his children the chosen people, set apart before we were even born. The Lord delights in His children because He created us in his likeness, not because we did anything right. Knowing this, the Lord is very pleased with me and nothing I say or do will ever change that. Paul reminds us that we are rooted and established in love, Christ’s love. This isn’t the “love ya” text sent off to a friend. This is real, unconditional, passionate agape love. This love surpasses all knowledge. Don’t let explanations and practices define your relationship with the Lord because they do not define His relationship with you. Allow yourself to be filled up by the fullness of a God who created us in love and let your religion be a love affair with the one who loves us most.