The following had much to say to me today. I hope the same for you. It’s from an article by Paul Ford:

“I am often consumed with a sense of overwhelming love and empathy. I look at the other person and am overwhelmed with joy.

This is not a world where you can simply express love for other people, where you can praise them. Perhaps it should be. But it’s not. I’ve found that people will fear your enthusiasm and warmth, and wait to hear the price. Which is fair, we’ve all been drawn into someone’s love only to find out that we couldn’t afford it.”

Religion answers the question with “I think so”, then asks how can I manipulate Him to love me more than He does everyone else.

Faith answers the question with “yes!”, then asks how can I know Him more.

Recently my friend Michael was telling me his brother and sister-in-law had moved to a different state. He had gone over to help them pack and to say goodbye. Michael then told me that as he was leaving his sister-in-law handed him a small bag and said, “Just something we won’t use.” Michael didn’t open the bag until he got home but when he did he was overwhelmed with emotion and brought to tears. In the bag was a box of sweetener packets, the kind he prefers in his coffee. Though he was sure they had never had a conversation about sweeteners Michael was just then realizing that each of the countless cups of coffee he had shared at his brother and sister-in-law’s home over the years was a demonstration of love, the kind of love grand gestures and declarations can never match. In that moment Michael understood that he was welcome, wanted and thought of even when he wasn’t around, even in the aisles of the grocery store.

Someday

Posted: June 18, 2014 in Uncategorized
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A faith focused on “someday” is the equivalent of “not today Lord”.

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Posted: June 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Jesus, not the rules.

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Posted: June 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

Jesus, not the crowd.

Love doesn’t manipulate.

Religion has deep roots in fear, primarily the fear that we are unloved and that we need to do something about it. This is a lie religion is extremely adept at exploiting, do this and God will love you and then so will we; Oh, you should do this too and then this while thinking this. It reminds me of the scene in The Jerk when Navin is leaving and doesn’t need anything, but…

We all need love as much as we need air and water. It’s a God given necessity put in us so we will seek Him; He’s the only one that can fill our hearts. Religion takes advantage of this need by promising to fulfill it if we will conform to the process established by whatever system we find ourselves in. This can’t work, it may for a season but eventually we come to the realization that there must be more and that’s when too often the answer we’re given is we need more religion. Then on the carousel we go, what option do we have? If we jump off, it is certain we won’t be loved, we’ve seen it. The fear of rejection keeps us right where religion wants us.

We’ll do anything for love, it’s sad that includes settling for a counterfeit of the amazing unique love Jesus came to show us.

Please keep in mind that I am merely offering an opinion here, one intended to spur you to thought. This is the case with everything you read at The Better Thing.

Religion is man’s contrived, organized attempt to make himself right with God. We should know better as Jesus taught extensively against this, yet still… One of the things that go hand in hand with this attempt by man to control God is for man to control others. While this in no way further endears us, somehow we think the more people we can get to buy into our system the more pleased we’ll make Him.

Religion’s greatest power is found in the fear of rejection.