What Good Is My Religion?

Have you ever asked yourself this question? I think a more accurate question might be, “What good do I bring to the world because of my religious beliefs and practices?”

The world is full of people who attend church, read their Bibles, pray, and profess to be Christians. I don’t know much about other religions, so I will focus on Christianity in this blog post.

As spiritual people, we owe it to our Creator and to others to make it count. Ask yourself this question, too: “Why am I a Christian?” I remember once in an adult Sunday school class discussing the concept of grace. We talked about how Christ has done what it takes for us to be free. Christ has taken care of our sin problem. Our part is to stay connected with the Holy Spirit so that we come to emulate Christ on earth. One person in the class suggested that everyone will go to Heaven. They argued that our loving God would not send people to Hell. Another person in the class responded to this by asking, “Well, if Christ has taken care of the sin problem and all of us are going to Heaven, why am I attending church and trying to be good?”

This is a fair question I suppose. Why are we going to church and talking about Christ to others and praying? Is it because we are trying to earn our place in heaven? Is it because we are trying to be good? Is it because we are afraid we will go to hell when we die?It seems that we (humans since the beginning of time) get off track so easily when it comes to spiritual matters. We follow a template that we think is good. We do things that we think are appropriate to demonstrate that we are Christians. But it is necessary to open our hearts and our minds to growth and change. Hopefully you don’t want to stay the same your whole life, do you? It is healthy to remain open to new ideas and remain open to ways that your spiritual beliefs can actually make this world a better place.

I’ve spent many years recovering from alcoholic dysfunction (my own dysfunction and my loved ones’ dysfunction). The experts in addiction recovery all agree that the addict’s development is arrested at whatever age they begin using drugs and/or alcohol regularly. For example, a 35-year-old woman who started using drugs and alcohol when she was 14 years old remains that age mentally and emotionally even though she lives in an adult body. She may have two or three children of her own, but this alone doesn’t make her an adult. She’s actually still operating as a teenager because her emotional growth stopped at age 14 because of her use of drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. It will take lots of work in order for her to unlock the ability for maturity and growth in her life. Most likely it will take a combination of things like therapy, working a 12-step program, and the willingness to examine and process painful trauma from the past. Never believe the lie that time will heal your grief. Time alone cannot do this. It takes much work and honesty to recover from the wounds and choices from the past.

As spiritual people, I want to challenge you to ask yourself these questions. Dig deep. What good is your religion?

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