In a book I read recently, the author stated that he routinely encounters people who think that "everything related to religion is expressed in negative terms." It is true that religion has a lot of rules about what a person is supposed to do, or not do. Okay, let's use the Ten Commandments as an example. They are a standard used by many religions. In fact, they are a standard of morality and spirituality for some cultures. Even though they are expressed mostly in negative form using "shall not" at the beginning, does that make them negative?
Think about the consequences of heeding what the commandments say. The results of obeying the negative, meaning not doing such and such, brings positive ends. The Ten Commandments are a GOOD thing. It is NOT obeying them that brings negative results. So, something expressed in negative terms yields the positive.
God knew from the beginning of time that the free will of human nature would choose to do things that would have negative consequences. Steeling, murder, adultery, coveting, and other things that are listed in the Commandments all have negative results. God knew that refraining from these things would result in a life of less heartache, trouble, and unhappiness.
It is like a parent telling a child not to run out into the street. Why? He or she might get hit by a car. Well, it is the same way with following the rules set down by the Ten Commandments, and other rules that some religions have. While it is true that sometimes religions have a list of what not to do, many of these "do nots" are for one's good.
Let's take this one step further. How about, instead of religion based upon rules, we have relationship based upon a desire to not want to do certain things. We don't need the rules to tell us how to live. We don't want to do certain things out of love for the one with whom we have a relationship. I am making a distinction between a religion and a relationship. Many people go to church or are involved in religious activities but have no relationship with God, and religion without a relationship with God can be nothing but a bunch of negative rules. Many times, culture sees being religious and being a Christian as one and the same. They are not the same.
When a person becomes a Christian by a conscious decision to make Jesus Christ Lord and Savior of their life, he or she will view things in a positive way. Certain things are not done, not only to be spared from negative consequences, but more importantly, out of love and obedience to the One, Jesus Christ, who has saved us by his grace. There is nothing negative about that! Many religions worship dead idols. Christians worship a risen Christ with whom you can have a personal relationship. Accept Jesus today and you can experience a relationship with many positive results.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW
Read more articles by John Clark or search for articles on the same topic or others.