I met with a relative of mine the other day, whom I had not seen in awhile. As we joyfully reminisced about many things, including my life in college, she confided in me, “You were too religious in college. I was really worried about you.”
I was conflicted as I digested her statement. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, when I was a sophomore in college. My life became consumed with learning everything I could about my Savior. I voraciously read the Bible, read commentaries, attended Christian fellowships and Bible studies, and found a Bible-believing church. My relative was concerned for me for she thought I was developing a cult-like mentality, at the expense of everything else. She thought that my life was going overboard, abandoning reason and common sense for some idealistic or even unattainable goal. It was almost as if she were saying, “A little religion is good, if taken in moderation.”
And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “ Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.”
Acts 26:24-25 (ESV)
The Apostle Paul encountered a similar skepticism about his beliefs as he defended himself before King Agrippa. Paul was a Pharisee, devoted to protecting the Jewish faith from Christians, whom he believed were blaspheming God. But when Jesus Christ confronted him, he was converted and became one of the greatest missionaries of Christianity. To the rest of the Jewish world, it did appear he was out of his mind. But he never had a clearer mind! It was as if the scales had suddenly fallen from his eyes.
I understood my relative’s sentiment. She, like many others, may lump my devotion to Jesus Christ as similar to all other religions. But being a Christian is not about being religious; it is entering into a relationship with the living God of the Universe.
My life since college has not been on an upward trajectory to God. I have fallen, many times, but God is faithful to me, even when I am so often disobedient. I still voraciously read the Bible, study commentaries, attend Christian fellowships and Bible studies, and regularly attend a Bible-believing church. These are not religious activities. It is expressing my gratitude to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am not too religious. I left my religion when I came to Jesus.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.