When We Choose Faith Over Religion
For many years, I like many people thought I was a pretty faith filled religious person.
I went to church every Sunday. I tithed and volunteered at the church when I could. I prayed over my meals, and before I went to bed. This all makes for a faithful religious person or so I thought.
We spend our days giving praise and glory to God. Striving to be a good person and follow His commandments. Spending time each day reading His word , that too grows our religion right?
As we strive to grow our religion and find measurements to tally our success we miss the mark. We miss it by focusing on the religion rather than on the faith. Faith does not come from appearances or how much we put in the Offertory basket.
Being religious is practicing the doctrine that we have been taught, yet with little understanding. Faith however is believing in the unseen, unproven being because we believe. Faith is doing good works out of true charity of heart not to count the cost. Faith is believing in a higher power beyond the pulpit.
Some of the most faithful servants I have known never stepped foot in a church for service. They were faithful stewards that loved and honored God through their actions not words. They served God and his people not for recognition or power but solely out of love.
Society gets lost in the representation of religion that true faith gets lost. Churches are focused on raising money more than raising believers. Many of their works are like dirty filthy rags, empty in meaning and worth. We go to church events that are plagued with a who’s who list rather than a focus on goodwill.
One can be religious without faith just as easily as one can be faithful without religion. Personally I will choose to live by faith rather than sight any day. I would choose my church to have no walls than to be bound by financial reports, agendas and cliques.
I would rather break bread over my own table in the name of the Lord than to share it after faithless lip service. A domestic church has more faith around the dinner table than many churches on Sunday morning.
Personally I choose my faith to guide me through my religion.
I choose faith to guide me along my path.
A Christian leader must have true faith to lead others, and not be bound by religious shackles. Many of my friends attend different denomination churches than I do yet we share the same faith. It does not matter whether you are Baptist, Catholic, Protestant or Jew, I judge people by their faithful works rather than their religious views.
By living a life guided by the gospel, a man can become a Christian by reading their Bible. Granted Baptism in one form of another is required to stake claim of a religion. Baptism by fire and struggles of this world can create a faithful servant.
By serving others and putting their needs before your own. By learning to give of ourselves, only then will our faith grow. As we give of ourselves and put other people first. We live a life as stewards, serving God and his people. We are faithful by our actions not the words that we may speak.
I hope that one day my legacy will be that I served others well by living second. That one day I will become a Christian leader that leads others to the gospel through my actions and faith.
By living a life of faith, we as leaders will live brokenhearted. As leaders in we see actions in our daily lives that do not honor God.
We strive to lead a path guided by our faith and morals. This at times can cost us our jobs, livelihood and friends.
Many of our friends and family will not understand what it means to be fishers of men. Yet as faithful leaders we must cast our nets wide no matter how weary and tired. We were all meant for more than to blindly follow religion. We were asked to follow and in turn lead by faith.
Now it’s your turn: What do you think about faith versus religion? Is there a difference and which do you choose? Join the conversation by commenting below:
About Charles Johnston
Charles is a Christian, husband and father of fur-kids who shares his walk with others in hopes to help other's along the way.