Lent Day 33: Addicted to the Rules

I have been walking with Jesus for a while, and often the temptation comes to focus on the rules and statutes of Christianity, instead of the relationship with Jesus.  After all, it is much easier to measure how I am doing if I can compare my daily behavior to a list of do’s and don’t.  I can begin to feel pretty good about myself if I pick the rules to follow, and them do a mental inventory periodically to make sure that I am on track. 

The problem with this model of operation is that it can often push relationship with Jesus to the background.  Rules take precedence, and they become the barometer of my spiritual health.  Imagine how this would play out in a marriage.  Let’s say I focused on what the bible says about marriage instead of on building a growing intimate relationship with Anna.  I could feasibly be above the standard with regards to adultery, fornication, lustful thoughts, etc, yet not spend time simply being with my wife.  Her desire is to have a husband who loves her and engages with her relationally, not one who is good at following the rules. 

Our interaction with Jesus is similar to marriage.  Jesus himself uses this analogy on a number of occasions to remind us that He is about RELATIONSHIP!  He is convinced that if we focus on relationship with Himself, the rules to live by will naturally be met.  He, in fact, came to fulfill that law, and the law is love!

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