I read this guys blog a while ago and he was asking the questions:
So how does your religion affect your life? Do you enjoy the intellectual stimulation from a great conversation, or do you try to change minds? Is it about right and wrong for you? Do you know that you are right and therefore I am wrong? If so, how do you know? Are you open to new ideas and perspectives, or do you stay with what you “know?” How do you act differently because of your religion than you might if you didn’t have that religion? These are all great questions and can be a lot of fun to answer, not to mention, give you more insight into yourself.
And of course this got me thinking… and this was my response to it:
“When I read your questions at the end of this post I wanted to answer them right away, maybe for myself, I don’t know, but I figure I’d sent the response to you anyhow–
I would say I think I am right…
And if ever I am not right, I will change what I believe so I am right. That doesn’t necessarily come from other people, I learn from life, travels, experiences, real situations, not just books and discussions. But yes, as far as I know, I am right. Why else would I believe what I believe??
I would also say I am open to new perspectives… granted I will hear many and be changed by few. I have friends from various backgrounds including Agnostic, Deist, Catholic, every sort of Protestant, and that of the Buddha and I can say there’s a thing or two about their religion I would I agree with on several aspects. Truth is truth no matter what form it comes in, no matter what religious title it is found under, no matter where you find it or who tells it to you.
I stay with what I find to be true based on the bible, what God has taught me through His life in me, and my experiences. And I find more about that daily. I am young and still learning so much. My mind was closed for a long time refusing to believe anything aside from what I was taught growing up. But the more I listen and consider, the more I learn. Sometimes straying from the “church”, my family, my religion even (if that is possible…I feel like I am who makes my religion) but always where I find truth, I stay with myself, with my God, the God, the One Father, Leader, Savior, Redeemer I find to be true.
I take the Bible as truth. I guess that’s where faith comes in. I don’t sweat the minute, over scrutinized details that don’t directly influence my daily/weekly/monthly decisions & choices about my life. Not that I haven’t thought about them. I do think about them often, I think some things that most people consider “unbelievable” in the Bible is because they find God unbelievable…
I guess if you don’t think God exists or that he is as powerful as he claims to be, than no, you are not going to believe some stuff in the bible (“miracles, signs and wonders”). I guess I get that… but I don’t see that as underestimating or not believing the bible, but instead, God.
I think there is such a thing as common ground when it comes to good and evil. Those more educated than others on a certain topic/situation are more apt to recognize the potential ‘evil,’ or the long term effects of quick decisions or self satisfying indulgences.
I think however that “the worst enemy of that which is best is that which is good.” (I think Neil Anderson said that.)
So it’s tricky sometimes to pick the greatest “good.” I just try to stick with what I think is wise and beneficial, reflecting character.
I would say that is a pretty good summary.
My “religion” does affect my daily life; some days more than others. A whole day can go by and I not think once of God or faith or religion… (that’s unfortunate and hope that changes) but I normally act in a way that reflects my beliefs, the things I find to be good and true…beneficial to me and those around me. Those things have made me who I am. And who I am determines what I do…
The more time I spend with God, Christ, in the Bible, what have you, the more I act in the ways I see beneficial/godly. It’s the whole abide in HIM and He will abide in you thing— that goes the same with any relationship. Even here on earth, the more time you spend with your family or friends the more you learn about them, their character influences you, etc.
I definitely enjoy “intellectual stimulation from great conversation.” I like to be challenged. People pointing out the “holes or flaws” in my beliefs either changes my beliefs or causes me to dig deeper to prove that “flaw” wrong, or my belief right… so it is a win/win, like I said, the truth is always true…
No matter where you find it…
Realistically, the truth is like a lion… all you have to do it set it free, and it will defend itself.
I wouldn’t say I try to change minds… but I do try to get people to see the truth. Hear me out: I don’t mean just the bible/Jesus truth—I mean how this or that affects you and others, how this choice or action does matter— I do answer the questions people ask me, I try to explain to them why what I believe is right/beneficial and ‘good’ however you want to look at it…
How do you act differently because of your religion than you might if you didn’t have that religion?
That one is bottomless. My faith, education, religion, life experiences, discussions… all those things combined, determine how I act and who I have decided to become. So yes, I do act differently.
I probably get told daily I am different… it confuses people really… But the less they know about God and His character, the less they understand.
Like I said before, my beliefs definitely affect my daily life.
From what I watch, how I think, where I go, what I say and do…
I have heard several times I am the most honest person soandso has ever known.
I will tell you the truth no matter where I find it, even if it hurts your feelings, even if it is my mistake I am confessing. It sucks sometimes when I mess up (mess up being doing something in one way or another that has harmful consequences or goes against what I have already said I believe was ‘best’) because then… still comes the truth… yes I was speeding, yes I did say that… no I don’t think that is a good idea… yes I will be there, [and so I am there]…I hope I can always back myself up.
Not that I haven’t lied ever in my life—just making sure you know I know I am not perfect!
The good thing about telling the truth though, as my dad always says, is you never have to remember what you said.
I am not the best with words, as you can probably tell, but I try to spew them out and keep them straight.
How do I act differently though?
I try my hardest to be selfless, encouraging, honest, helpful, and patient.
I am nice, but smart enough not to be taken advantage of.
I am blunt, honest, and real — which sometimes comes across as rude and mean and I try to avoid that.
I am loving and giving.
I am generous and faithful.
Anyone can count on me to do what I say I am going to do.
I mean what I say and I say what I mean.
The things I believe I live every day.
I think you said something about not wanting or having a religion to restrain you. I think, that anytime you find something to be true, helpful, beneficial, you are going to follow it and let it change the way you think. Like when you learn that cheating on your significant other not only hurts their heart and feelings but could end up causing you to be known as a liar cheat and alone, you don’t do it. Now is that a restriction? Are you constrained? Or are you just doing what you want to do, because you know it is good for you and your family?
I say all that just to say, I don’t feel constrained with my faith/religion/whatever, constrained makes me think of rules and how I can or can’t do something because I have heard or read this rule…
I do it in order to be pleasing to the Lord.
I do or don’t do something because I have found it wise and beneficial or perhaps harmful and useless…
I do it because I know HIS way leads to the happiest life.
In other words, just like you, “if I come across something that really changes my mode of thinking and truly appeals to my sense of reason, then I can make the necessary adjustments.”
I feel like I have devoted my life to things that do make great sense. The things that are beneficial and helpful, loving and true.
My blog is not a blog to change anyone’s mind…but if it reveals something in a way that they haven’t thought of before, awesome! I normally write it for myself though, as a reminder or to sort things out. It is my blog. It isn’t about religion or God or love or friends, but all those things are in there because it is about my life. It helps me get my thoughts and ideas out so they aren’t running over and over in my head at night keeping me awake…feel free to check it out.