During a recent trip to another country, I spotted these words painted above a shop door. It caused me to pause, and ask this question: What have I added to the Gospel? No faith, religion, or tradition is immune to adding rules and traditions–it’s crucial that we exam ourselves and our communities of faith.

We hear so often these words, “I hate religion.” Digging a little deeper almost always reveals that the person doesn’t hate God–they’re just having a hard time seeing past what people have done/added/distorted. What can cut through this tension? The powerful word of God, the deep love of Jesus, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, prayer, and authentic relationships between non-believers and non-believers. Lord, examine our hearts and straighten our paths. Let us worship in spirit and in truth, and have the eyes and hearts of Jesus as we represent you.