3 Things Christians Don't Have to Do

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Whether you are a Christian, Mormon, Atheist, Muslim, Agnostic- really, as long as you are human- there are always going to be people who disagree with you, and that's okay. And even when you are part of the same religion, there will always be certain topics that are debated heavily from person to person. That's okay too, I guess. I mean, its part of life anyway.

But sometimes, well-meaning Christians start mandating things that were never discussed in Scripture. Their goals may have started purely, but when we start making rules about things that God never felt the need to make rules about, then we quickly become like the pharisees.

And that's when I can't stay silent. That's when I start voicing my differences in opinion. Not to be a jerk and not to put myself on a pedestal, but in order to combat ideas that will inevitably be harmful if they are mandated as things that a Christian MUST do.

So today, I am sharing 3 things that Christians do not have to do. Things that are allowed, permitted, and even good, but should never be presented as rules to be followed.



Have Quiet Time...In the Morning

Quiet time for the Christian is crucial. If we aren't spending time with God then we won't be able to continue growing in our relationship with him. It's just like any human relationship you have- if you stop spending time together, you grow apart and become strangers.

But you know what you've never been told about human relationships?
"If you don't hang out with your friend first thing in the morning, you aren't prioritizing your friendship"...um, no. The important thing is not what time of day you are spending time with your friends, family, or Savior, but rather, that you are spending time with them often.

I used to feel so guilty if I didn't read my Bible before I did anything else. And one of the reasons for that guilt was because I had heard people say "God deserves the first part of your day because He should be first place". So if I wanted to sit and read a novel in the morning when I was home from school, I felt guilty if I did that before reading my Bible and praying, because I thought it meant that I was putting the novel before God.

But you know what? The order in which I do things throughout the day is not necessarily equivalent to the order in which those things are important to me. I may unload the dishwasher before I kiss my husband, but I am certainly more fond of kissing my man than I am of doing the dishes.

The thing about spending time with God is that we should be doing it whenever we can be most focused, grow from it most, and in whatever way we can best make it a part of our day. The point is to spend time with out Lord, not to legislate what time of day everyone should be praying and reading scripture.

Have a Natural Childbirth

Maybe it's just me, but I often feel this unspoken pressure to (when I start having kids) breast feed until my kid is at least 6 months old (bonus points if they are over 12 months), keep my kids from the evil that is television until they are a teenager, and above all else, have a natural (non-medicated) childbirth.

Natural childbirth is awesome. I have the utmost respect women who have given birth naturally. I cannot imagine doing that without needing some serious therapy after! But you know what I want when I have kids? All the needles and all the medicine. I have enough hip and back problems without trying to have a natural childbirth. So when it's time to give birth, I will proudly ask for #allofthedrugs.

If you want to do a natural childbirth, I honestly think that is great. And I am almost automatically going to be impressed. But having an epidural is not bad or sinful, so please stop pretending like it is.

Avoid Medication

Speaking of medication and "drugs"- yes, I know that doctors can get a little prescription-happy these days, and sure, natural options (when they work) are preferred. But so many Christians assume that essential oils and vitamins work perfectly for everyone. But just as everyone's personalities are different, so are our reactions to medications and natural supplements. What worked wonders for you may not do a thing for me and what worked well for me may not help you at all!

I'm all for natural products-seriously, I am- but some Christians make other Christians feel that natural is the only way, and that taking medication is a sin or somehow means you trust God less.
Don't even get me started on that! 😡
I plan to eventually do an entire post on this subject, but until then, please know that if you feel like you need medication and others are seeing the same thing, there's no shame in that. Talk to your doctor, do thorough research, and if you decide to start taking it, you aren't less, it's not a sin, and that doesn't have anything to do with your level of trust in God.
So take the dang Ibuprofen, use the cough medicine, and take the antidepressants (if you really need them). You can rest assured that if you are using them responsibly and as they were intended, I will have nothing to say about it.



Friends, if you want to have your quiet times solely in the morning, use only essential oils for medication, and give birth naturally for every kid you have, then that is great. You should keep on keeping on if that works for you. But if you are someone who can't make quiet time happen in the morning, prefers an epidural for childbirth, or who's body doesn't seem to respond to natural remedies, that's totally okay to. It's just as okay as the other scenario.

God didn't mandate these things to us, so we shouldn't mandate them to one another. Let's strive to have compassion on and understanding for one another, and stop telling each other what we HAVE to do when it's an issue that God clearly wasn't concerned about.

DISCLAIMER: Please know that the three things I discuss in this post are not bad things in and of themselves. If you do any of these things, it is equally good and admirable. This post is not to criticize the way in which some Christians do things. Actually, on the contrary, I wrote this post so that Christians can remember that there are certain things that we have freedom in. We get to decide how to live the life God has given us, so we shouldn't be constantly criticizing one another but building each other up instead. 




6 comments

  1. How did you know what my Facebook feed has been filled with??? LOL! I TOTALLY agree with you on all three accounts!! I do my devotions in the middle of the day... I had an epidural...and I take meds as needed. More power to all the "crunchy" people out there, but I'll do me and you do you. You know what I'm saying? Thanks for this post, Kristin! You are spot on!

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  2. Haha amen to that morning quiet time thing!! I wrote about that here (http://www.ahopefulhood.com/2016/04/i-dont-read-my-bible-in-morning.html) because why is it people make it sound like that is the ONLY time to study the Bible?!

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  3. So well written, Kiristin! I love this. I've had my quiet time in the mornings, but I also often do it in the afternoons when the kids are down for a nap and my day is at its most peaceful. I've given birth without any painkillers, and I've also delivered with the help of an epidural. I've used natural remedies, and I've happily taken Tylenol - and we won't even get started on the fact that my oldest would die without synthetic insulin. As you put it so well, all of this is about the heart attitude. That is so, so true! The Lord wants us to find our righteousness in Him and Him alone, not in whether or not we do things at set hours or by natural means. This post blessed me so much!

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  4. This is so spot on! I think part of what happens is we live is such a "to each his own" type of world that we convince ourselves that our opinions are absolute truths. We need to learn the difference between Christian absolute truths and opinions. AND not get bum hurt when people don't agree with one's opinion. Great post friend!

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  5. So well-written, as always! Love your heart, Kristin. I so resonated with not having to have quiet times in the morning - I used to feel bad because I didn't. But honestly, God wired me to be a midday/evening type of person! There's nothing wrong with that. I'm not a morning person. I should dig in when I'm 100% at my best and that's not right when I wake up, haha.

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  6. PREACH! I love that you are standing up against so many stigmatisms and telling people that it's okay to follow your own beliefs and trust in your relationship with your religion!

    xo, Chelsie @ Hey There, Chelsie

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