Many people believe the way they do about religion because of where they were born or the family they were born into. Many either follow or rebel against the religion we are surrounded by. If born in a Muslim family we are most likely to become a Muslim; if born in a Christian family we are more likely to become a Christian. I am not convinced any religion has a responsibility to convert others to their beliefs rather than encourage actions for a better world.
I am convinced all people need some kind of spiritual focus to guide them in their relationships. Jesus and most of the great religious leaders all had the same message which focused on treating others like you want to be treated. One can raise a family or a nation on such a foundation. Reality also insists we must consider when we or others don’t act lovable. If we don’t put ourselves in another person’s circumstances and act accordingly, the world will never make much progress. Relationships will thrive the most when having a spiritual plan as to how we will love others like we want to be loved.
If you can’t buy into the whole Jesus and Bible thing, don’t throw Jesus’ message out as well. At least have some type of spiritual guide in all you do. One would be hard pressed to argue that Jesus insisted upon any belief other than loving your neighbor as you want to be loved. Jesus encouraged resisting behaviors that lead to personal or relationship destruction. Christian leaders who insist on certain sacred beliefs distract people from focusing on why Jesus came. Jesus’ only sacred belief was that our Creator loves and forgives us and desires to inspire us to act the same toward others. Jesus taught God seeks to empower us to do good and shun evil.
I believe because of the family I grew up in that Jesus was the person predicted in the Old Testament coming to correct distorted beliefs about our Creator. I am convinced God’s message to us is recorded in the pages of Scriptures. My beliefs, often considered Christian, bring me comfort but they may not others. Most important is the message of treating others like you want to be treated, not if you claim adherence to a certain religion or follow certain rituals. If you are able to believe in a Creator, simple determine how a loving God would guide in relationships. Find ways to discuss your spiritual health like you would your physical or emotional health.
A powerful component of Christianity is that Jesus spoke of God as our spiritual Parent who can empower us to make for a better world, just as a parent’s love can inspire us to be the person we desire to be deep down. God’s example of forgiveness toward me empowers me to be open to forgiving others. Parents always stand by a child’s side no matter the past in hopes their child will change for their good beginning today. God doesn’t want us to lose hope no matter our failures. We may not always understand why God doesn’t protect us from underserved suffering, but God is no stranger to such suffering.
Many people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about God. Well, I do and they still treat others better than me. Lots of non-God folks don’t have as many anxieties or bad habits as church-goers. I am though a better husband, father, friend, and person because of God’s influence. I am convinced all are better off with a spiritual influence. Some success I had as a parent was because I sought to emulate God in relationships who doesn’t control for the sake of authentic relationships. I have messed up in my marriage, but I was always influenced to confess wrongdoings and make amends as best I could. I am motived to encourage not discourage others.