September 16, 2014

jesus vs yoga part 2

Everything comes down to love. That is the deepest lesson I can learn as a follower of Jesus, whether it's about my faith or someone else's.

After my first post on jesus vs yoga, a wiser person than me invited me to study Romans 14. The book of Romans was (by most accounts) written by Paul, who was busy trying to wipe out Christians until Jesus intervened and gave him new life. I point this out to underscore the irony of a man who had once been defined completely by religious legalism that later showed how much more important love is.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul urges us to resist judging each other and recognize that each person's walk of faith is unique. My relationship with Jesus looks different than my husband's, my friend's, and anyone else's. Such is the beauty of God and faith. And because of this, I have the responsibility of working out my own faith rather than being overtly concerned about a friend's whose faith may just be weaker than mine. My faith is strong enough that I can, in fact, do yoga exercises without absorbing the tenets of other religions and philosophies that are not in line with biblical theology. They're just poses, after all. While that may look different for someone else, the best thing for me to do is love my friend and, if asked, explain why I'm taking a break from yoga for a while.

Paul uses the analogy of food and drink, which was a far more divisive issue in that day than it is now. But, lest we think he's only talking about food, he then uses the example of how one person considers a day sacred while another considers the whole week sacred. Both do so to honor God, so it doesn't really matter.

If I believe in my heart, after careful prayer and discernment, that I can do yoga exercises without compromising my relationship with Jesus, then I should as long as by doing so I don't hurt someone else's faith journey.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
That second sentence really stood out for me, and I'll be meditating on it more. May your journey of faith bring you closer to Jesus and deeper into love.