Many of us today are “spiritual but not religious”. We are discerning about which path we choose to follow; we are determined not to be trapped by tradition. But what if you are religious? What if you’ve been brought up in a particular belief system that you didn’t choose?
Today I was speaking to a man, who, even though not a regular churchgoer, believed himself to be tied for life to the church denomination into which he was born and christened. Do you feel similarly trapped or are you a free spirit?
Last week I heard a radio presenter describe what happened to him once on a trip to the supermarket. Having filled his trolley (US cart), he pushed it to the checkout, and the assistant began to scan his items ready for him to pack. However, as he was emptying his shopping onto the conveyor belt, he began to find items in his trolley that he hadn’t chosen and didn’t want. He suddenly realised what must have happened. He had left his trolley at one point to go off in search of something. Having found it, he came back and dropped the item into what he thought was his trolley, but wasn’t! With half his shopping already scanned, what was he going to do? He decided to carry on as if nothing had happened, and as a result he paid for, and took home, a lot of items he didn’t really want.
Unlike that radio presenter and his unwanted goods, we don’t have to remain burdened by someone else’s faith or by an accident of birth. Our parents do make a choice for us, according to their own beliefs when we’re young – it may be a good choice or it may not, but as an adult we are free to decide what our own beliefs should be.
The scriptures tell us that through a relationship with our Creator, we can draw close to God with freedom and confidence. God is not a man whose judgement we can sway by our religious label or seeming good behaviour. He is already aware of our true condition, and yet he loves us intimately. He calls us to turn from our selfish ways, to follow Him and to love Him in return.
The question is not which religious label we have, but are we following the One who gave everything He had that we might know Him?
“In Jesus, and through faith in Jesus, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”