By: Shenelle Wallace

“Religion sets rules. But Jesus sets Free.” It’s a quote I saw on my Instagram feed that caused me to ponder.

Growing up in a very strict and structured church, there were a lot of things that felt more like bondage than freedom in faith. I’d have to strip who I was (which was a very wholesome young lady might I say) Monday through Saturday and straighten up (even more so) on Sunday. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in understanding that Religion is separate from an actual relationship with God. You can very well have one without the other. And that goes both ways.

I always wondered why there was a resistance put up regarding the involvement of God in many lives. People are aware that they need Him, yet  there is hesitance to commit. “Be ye Holy as I am Holy (1Peter 1:16)” the word says. But in the old church, in an attempt to prove their holiness, the list of “don’ts” followed. The  interpretations was, that  in order to be holy, you’re not allowed to be human. Their  motive was pure, but some of the demands were almost crippling. No one wants to feel like being in tune with God is more of a burden than it is freeing.

I’ve watched the church go from being afraid of becoming too open to what they would call ‘worldly things’, to lightening up about frivolous practices that really doesn’t matter to God. Do rules have their place? Of course! Is structure needed? Certainly! But as the good book says “You will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:16).” What’s on the inside, of your heart, will manifest on the outside of your being and the way you live. There will be no need for you to be under a microscope or for you to put others there. Your life will speak volumes for itself.