I am not OK; I feel lonely. I would like to give my life to Christ, but I don’t know how.

I would like to know what religion I should choose. Please, help me.

Dear Friend,

What a good question! It is a question that has been asked for centuries.

One day, at lunch time, Jesus was at a well outside Samaria, a region on the West Bank of the Jordan River. He and his followers were hungry, so He had sent them into town to get some food. He stayed by the well to talk to the people who came to get their water. Soon a woman approached the well and was surprised when Jesus asked her to draw a drink of water for him. What followed was a conversation that answers your question about what religion you should choose. (1)

The woman came from a religious heritage that was accepting of many different belief systems. Samaria was a region that had a history of immigrants, refugees, and a series of overthrown governments. It had become a melting pot of diverse races, cultures, and religions. Therefore, the Samaritans were sworn enemies of the Jews who considered themselves to have a pure bloodline and a monopoly on God.

Through conversation, Jesus made it clear that the way to have a meaningful life on earth and eternal life in Heaven was not in choosing a religious system. In fact, during his short life on earth, Jesus was most critical of religious systems and the people who practiced them. So the answer to your question, friend, is: Don’t choose a religion!

Instead, what Jesus told the woman and what we would answer you today is to choose relationship. Choose to have a personal relationship with God. What does that mean? It starts with talking to God yourself and telling Him that you want to develop a close friendship with Him. It means acknowledging to Him that you are not Holy as He is, and you would like Him to forgive your sins, which have separated you from Him. Then it means letting Him talk back to you through reading the Bible and meditating on what you find there. As you read the Bible and pray, God will guide you in making future decisions.

The way to a full life on earth and an eternity in Heaven is through a daily journey that focuses on having a close relationship with God. Many activities can help you in your journey, including finding other people who are on the same journey with you and learning from each other. These people are often found in Bible‑teaching churches, but they can also be found almost anywhere you go. Genuine Christ followers follow His example by loving and caring for others in His Name, and concentrating on relationship rather than religion.

There’s no reason to wait. Begin your own conversation with God today!

Linda and Charles
1 Jn 4:4-42