Are You Beating Yourself Up With Religion?

Stop 'Shoulding' All Over Yourself and Others.

If you’re not experiencing the joy and freedom you once did in your faith, it may be that you are beating yourself up with religion instead of believing and living out of the true gospel of grace. Let me explain:

I’ve heard it said that religion is a set of practices and beliefs–a system–of pursuing and maintaining a relationship with God.

Ok, sounds technically right… 

But I’ve come to understand that the good news of the gospel is that God himself, in and through Jesus, came to pursue us to establish and maintain a right relationship with our true Father, God.

Establish and maintain. That sounds like really good news.

Get Out of Hell Card

I grew up in the Church. From before I was born I was there with my mother every Sunday. But if I am to be completely honest, the message I heard (over and over) was a scary “get out of hell card” type of idea.

Who wants to burn in hell for eternity? Not me!

So I said the Jesus in my heart prayer–over and over to make sure that God believed I really meant it–hoping to placate him and make sure I didn’t somehow blow the deal.

Growing in this “faith” then, was a series of activities and practices (to be done without fail) in order to please God and pursue my personal relationship with Jesus. That’s what it was called.

What I wanted was love. What I ended up with was religion. I was schooled in what I should do in order to please God.

And…what I shouldn’t do if I really loved him and wanted to be a good Christian.

Stop ‘Should’ing All Over Yourself

Let me tell you, there is no should or shouldn’t in the gospel. That’s the Law. The gospel of grace teaches us that we get to or we need not.

An example:

We get to live generously and trust that our amazing Father who owns everything has made us co-heirs with his son Jesus. We have unlimited resources!


We need not worry about money, or how we can possibly meet the needs we see around us because we have a Father that sees us as his dearly loved sons and daughters. He not only knows and can meet all our needs, but he also has blessed us to be a blessing in his world.

That’s a big difference.

So stop shoulding all over yourself and others. 

There is no should or shouldn’t in the gospel. That’s the Law. So stop “shoulding” all over yourself and others.Click To Tweet

Learn how: Bigger Gospel: A Master Class in Gospel Fluency

Why this is so important in our lives

Our kids and our families, those around us in the world, are listening and watching to see if there is truly good news to be found in a relationship with God and his son Jesus.

What they don’t need is to get beat up by religion.

5 Questions to ask to see if you may be beating yourself up with religion:
  1. Do you have a list (long or short) of things you feel like you should do in order to be a “good” Christian?
  2. Do you believe you still have a little more you should do (or shouldn’t do) to be saved from God’s wrath and fully loved as his child?
  3. Do you work hard at religious activity to feel accepted and loved by God?
  4. Do you believe God is more pleased with you when you “go to church” and read your Bible?
  5. Do you work tirelessly at your job believing that God only helps those who help themselves?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions…even a little…then you are beating yourself up and not living in the grace that is now yours.

Give yourself a break. You get to believe a much bigger gospel.

A Case of the Yabotts

Even after hearing/reading all of this you may be suffering from a case of the yabotts.

Pronounced: “Yeah, but…”

Do you believe that you are part of God’s family and he loves you regardless of any of your past?

“Yeah but…I’m still a mess…”

Do you believe that Jesus has sent you, indwelled by his own Spirit, to make disciples and bring others into this family?

“Yeah but…I don’t know where to start…”

Let me remind you, if you have put your faith and life in the hands of Jesus and begun to walk with him you have been transformed. You are a new creation.

Fling yourself into this truth.

Jesus is bringing about your maturity and it is his work to bring you fully into his likeness. He’ll grab a hold of the weakest parts of your life, the most fragile aspects of your faith, making them the strongest. And he is using the worst parts of your life as opportunities for his grace to shine and show others this beautiful transformation.

Your life is part of a much bigger plan.

There are so many others that you love, who God has brought into your life, that desperately need this transformation too. They need Jesus to enter into their world, capture their hearts, and tell them who they are meant to be.

They need him. And he is worthy of their worship. Jesus gave everything that they might have life and have it to the fullest, that they might be transformed into his likeness and once again walk with him and his Father in a life that is complete and eternal.

You are a part of that. The next best time to stop beating yourself up with religion, is now.

Learn how: Bigger Gospel: A Master Class in Gospel Fluency
This is the beginning of something big!

Here’s a question for you: Where in your life have you moved past religion and into grace and freedom? And what difference has this made in your life? Leave me your comments below or on Facebook, ok? And before you go please subscribe to my Youtube channel. As always, thanks for watching.