The former (application) feels like we’re trying to add something to life from the outside-in. The latter (relationship) flows naturally from the inside-out.
The former follows only for pragmatic reasons. The latter is an expression of life.
The former doesn’t require relationship. The latter assumes it.
The former views principles as good things that will make life better – as in good advice. The latter views the story of Jesus as good news that changes the very course of one’s entire life.
The former picks and chooses principles based on personal preference. The latter sees the entire Jesus-story as an all-encompassing, ethos-shaping lifestyle.
The former can lead to moralism that demands we follow a system of rules and obligations. The latter leads to adopting a posture of grace and mercy towards oneself and others.
Read more at http://www.jeffkclarke.com/following-jesus-is-more-than-applying-principles/