Category Archives: Religion/Spirituality
“There are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ people. Some are a little better or a little worse, but all are activated more by misunderstanding than malice”-Tennessee Williams
Most of us like to compartmentalize our lives. We want to put different areas of our lives in neat little “boxes” that are free of conflict and adversity. When random unexplainable events disrupt our lives, we search aimlessly for answers that make sense to us.
Children are polarized thinkers. They see things as good or bad. This is why cartoons, movies and books always have a good person and a villain. As they grow older and experience life, they start to notice the area of “gray areas of life” and start to question the concept of good vs. evil, right vs. wrong.
Unfortunately, what is happening in our society is that adults are now becoming polarized thinkers. We are so quick to judge and react to situations and simplify them as good or bad. We focus on the bad things that we tend to overlook the good in the world. Our energy is directed at the violence, hate and anger that is permeating our society. Some of us are pessimistic; eagerly waiting to share bad news on social media. Instead of enjoying the good times, we wait anxiously for something bad to happen.
We’ve lost faith in ourselves and in future generations. We want to be optimistic about the future, but once we hear about another random act of violence, it sends us driving down despondency road again.
What are we teaching our children through our words and actions? How can we tell them to think positive, to plan for the future, when we present such a bleak future? Why do we tell our kids that “It gets better” then we turn around and say “Things are getting worse”.
We shouldn’t be surprised that our kids are becoming desensitized to tragedy. If we don’t help our children to appreciate the good in life, we will raise a generation of jaded and cynical men and women.
We inundate ourselves with bad news and we partake in negativity by watching reality shows that glorify bullying, and thoughtlessness. Think about how much negativity and bad news we share through social media. Our kids are watching and paying attention and they’re beginning to accept this as normal. We can’t create a perfect world for our kids but we can change how they perceive life and tragedies.
We have to remind our kids that life has good and bad moments. They need reassurance that all is not lost and that there are good people in the world. If we want to raise loving and empathetic adults, we need to exemplify love, empathy and compassion. It starts with reminding ourselves that there is good left in the world, but it’s our job to notice it and show it to our kids.
And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.-Jude 1:22
I saw this tweet yesterday on Twitter and it made me stop to think this verse. Think back to yesterday, "Were you merciful to someone who was in doubt?" or did you pass judgement or criticize them?
I am a Christian, but lately I am ashamed to be associated with some Christians.There seems to be this need to bully, intimidate or chastise those who are not "like us". It seems that some Christians are so ready to cast the first stone.
The same people who are touting how much they love Jesus seem to not know his sermons very well. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!" (John 8:7)
I am a Christian. I know God's purpose for my life and each day do my best to live according to that purpose. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I do not feel compelled to grab a pitchfork or torch or stone to condemn those who are living their lives differently from mine. It is God's will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. (1 Peter 2:15)
I remember when I told a co-worker that I was a Christian and she fled from the room. Looking back, I could understand her fleeing (just not so dramatically). She probably thought that I was going to criticize how she lives her life and harass her to come to church with me so I can save her soul.
I do not get any satisfaction in making others feel bad, so that I can feel good about myself. I do not feel the need to hang out with only "saved" people. Who did Jesus hang out with? When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners." (Mark 2:17)
Who are we to judge? If you're the kind of Christian who feels the need to look down on others to elevate yourself, don't be surprised when no one wants to receive your message. What that person who is down and out needs is a kind word, a hug, and compassion. A bible verse or a gospel song has its purpose but when people's spirits are broken and battered, they need you to show you care. They need you to be Christ-like and pick them up and dust them off.
Stop being so righteous. Stop inciting fear and creating an environment of fear, hate and hostility in the name of Christianity. Stop thinking you are a qualified spokesperson for holy living. Stop being a spokesperson for Jesus, he already said everything perfectly. Stop being divisive and narrow-minded. Stop force-feeding your beliefs to non-believers.
Most importantly, stop being a hypocrite. The kids are watching and they're learning. If we want to raise Godly men and women, we must be example of loving Christians.
Show mercy to those who need it. Let grace be at the center of your life. Remember that Christianity is inclusive, not exclusive.
If God doesn't like the way I live, let him tell me, not you. – Author Unknown
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