Devotional Thought

I Try to Improve Myself

Are you a “religious” person?

What’s a “religion,” anyway?

A newspaper article said religion is “anything you do over and over in an effort to improve yourself.”

If you look at it that way, doing sit-ups would qualify as a religion. So would dieting. Maybe that’s why people say they do these things “religiously.”

A lot of people would agree that the purpose of religion is to improve yourself. Ask them why they go to church, and they’ll say it makes them better people.

Notice what happens when you define “religion” as “something you do over and over in an effort to improve yourself.”

Did anybody else miss the little word “God”?

Religion once had to do with who God is and what God has done. It all began and ended with God.

Self-help religion, however, begins and ends with me. God becomes a way of achieving my personal goals. In this view, if you find that believing in God makes you a better person, go for it. If not, don’t worry. There are other ways to accomplish the same thing.

Something you do over and over in an effort to improve yourself might be one way to define religion. However, it doesn’t fit Christianity.

The Christian message says it is a waste of time for us to try to improve ourselves by doing certain things. Instead, it tells what God has already done for us. It tells us we’re forgiven and restored, not because we do something over and over, but because Jesus Christ did something — once and for all.

When you get right down to it, being a Christian isn’t anything at all like dieting or sit-ups.

Christianity is more like sitting back and enjoying a great victory. You know it was won for you. You applaud in appreciation.

Pastor R.