Religion causes you to live a double life
One of the most crushing aspects of religion is the way that it takes your eyes off of Jesus and puts them onto yourself and those around you. Religion creates pride, and because of that pride you will not want to admit your faults and your issues.
However, the Bible explains that we must confess our sins to one another so that we may be healed (James 5:16). If you feel that your “goodness” is made possible by your own power, instead of by God’s grace, then you will be enslaved by it. You will be tempted to maintain a public persona that in no way matches the condition of your heart. This is not the life God intended for us. God wants us to live in the freedom of being fully known and fully loved.
Religion focuses on the “how” instead of the “Who”
Religion causes us to focus on the “how” of everything and everyone around us.
How should the worship music be done?
How long should you pray?
How much of the Bible should you read?
How much money should you give?
How should you dress at church?
Asking these kind of questions, in my opinion, is why there is so much division in the church and why some people feel that Christianity is exhausting. Following Jesus isn’t an easy life, but it is life-giving, not life-taking. Relationship makes it simple because it focuses on the “Who” and the only “Who” that truly matters—Jesus. Instead of worry about how we perform or how much we pray or how much we read the Bible, in a relationship we are free to just magnify and marvel at the One we worship!
If you are exhausted in your efforts to earn your way onto God’s good side then there is good news, because God wants you to come just as you are. He invites you to an abundant life defined by relationship instead of dry, mechanical religion.
Religion doesn’t save, Jesus does.