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Compel: Fake Love

Drew Bridges

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
[Matthew 11:28-30]

Religion is not the same as having a relationship with Jesus. In fact, religion often gets in the way of relationship. Jesus wasn’t about labels or rules, He was about love. Religion has a way of watering down the kind of relationship Jesus craves to have with us.

In relationship, there are no office hours or dress codes. There’s just imperfect, broken us partnering with beautiful and merciful Jesus.

Religion tells us what’s right and wrong, while relationship guides us to do what’s right. When we are really in relationship with Jesus, we aren’t forced to pray or worship or walk humbly. Those are all things that we want to do because Jesus has been so good to us.

Religion says “I have to”, while relationship says “I get to”. Because of Jesus’ unfailing love for us (mistakes and all), we get to pray, we get to worship, we get to love. Because he choose us over His own life, we get to spread hope to those around us.

Religion uses grace as a crutch, while relationship uses it as a launching pad. With Jesus, there is nothing we have done or could ever do that would cause His love for us to falter. That knowledge propels us forward so we can walk it out. So we can praise Him even in the shadows. So we can be Love to people we come across.

We can’t explain Jesus’ grace. It’s impossible to wrap our human minds around that kind of love. But, Jesus chose us. With all our scars, our imperfections, our sins, our brokenness – He chose us. On purpose. And all he wants in return is…us.