I’ve always believed it important to have a moral foundation for living. Call it religion, spirituality, or your moral compass, keeping the many aspects of life grounded by following a few virtues or adhering to a belief is invaluable for our overall wellbeing. Even if that belief is non-belief.
What is Spirituality?
Spirituality encompasses many perspectives and is based upon the acceptance of the existence of something more significant than ourselves. It’s a universal experience that’s often described as sacred, transcendent or having a deep sense of interconnectedness.
Some may find their spiritual life is closely linked with a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue. Others may have a relationship with God without the need for a building or strict protocol. Still others find meaning through their connection to nature. Spirituality can be as individualized as each person and it can change throughout our lives, adapting to personal experiences or relationships.
The Non-Religious Trend
Being a writer/author, I spend a good deal of time on social media and connect with many types of people. When I first started out, back in 2013, I focused solely on my blog, writing inspirational poetry and articles about spirituality. It didn’t take me very long to learn how important it is to communicate using non-specific language.
In this so-called ‘modern era’, being politically correct often means being extremely cautious, particularly when using words such as God, Faith, Prayer. Instead of these, I learned if I wanted to remain as non-biased and accessible as possible, I should use such terms as The Universe, Universal Consciousness, Cosmos, Karma, Spirituality, Meditation and the like.
I also discovered, if I hoped to avoid unwanted and, oftentimes, surprisingly contentious verbal confrontations, I needed to stand on neutral ground. I had to write in a non-religious context, even when writing about religion. I learned the unfortunate truth that we’re simply no longer free to randomly express our beliefs, even when writing an opinion piece.
On the Offensive
Why do I say that? Simply because articles about religion, faith, spirituality, and/or beliefs always seem to generate vehement debate and sometimes hostile offense. Personally, I tend to think we’ve gone around the bend with ‘being offended’, but the right to be so seems to have superseded our other rights lately.
Or perhaps, it’s not such a new phenomenon.
Whether you believe in Jesus as the Son of God or not, many of the things He taught aren’t really all that absurd. Things such as keeping your word, turning the other cheek, loving your enemies, and not judging others. These moral guidelines are ones we can all choose to live by and they would certainly make the world a better place, regardless of who suggested them.
Surprisingly, Jesus also told believers not to share their faith with people who do not want to hear it. Though it sounds harsh, He said:
“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they will trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.” — Matthew 7:6
The Harsh Reality
This may seem counter-intuitive, particularly when He also told His disciples to preach the gospel to all nations, until you consider how vehemently people react when you start talking to them about faith, spirituality, and beliefs. Is it possible that even 2000 years ago people were quick to be offended and ready, at the proverbial drop of a hat, to argue?
That doesn’t really count as a rhetorical question. Of course they were because, for all our technological, medical and scientific advances, human beings have not changed emotionally or mentally since the dawning of time. We still intentionally hurt each other, squander the world’s resources, ignore the meek, exploit the innocent, and crucify the idealistic.
Perhaps these two statements by Jesus should be considered in the reverse in order to comprehend them fully. First, “Go everywhere in the world. Tell the Good News to everyone.” — Mark 16:15; and then: “Do not give what is holy to dogs — they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs — they will only trample them underfoot.”
A common thing we all tend to say when parting is ‘Be Safe’ and it’s as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago. Jesus apparently knew ‘how people are’ and, although He wanted the good news of His love and forgiveness shared, He didn’t want to risk the safety of those He loved.
It makes perfect sense to me, especially after experiencing ‘how people are’ first hand. Back when I started writing in 2013 and as recently as this year, I’ve received comments on my articles about faith, spirituality and beliefs that are startlingly antagonistic, which has led me to the inevitable.
I’m Never Sharing the Gospel Again
Not so many years ago I had a friend who would tell me about her problems, but never, ever took any of my advice about how to fix them or even make them better. I’m a fairly creative problem solver and would offer any number of possible solutions for her to consider, but, although they could have made her life better in many ways, she invariably rejected any suggestions I offered. She simply did As a result, I finally decided I would never offer her advice again.
The same is true for sharing the Good News of Jesus love and forgiveness. Despite the fact that we all need love and forgiveness and could benefit from the many pieces of good advice He offered, I’ve decided never to share the gospel again.
Allow Me to Clarify
That may seem an over-reaction. Maybe what I should say is, I’m never sharing the gospel again with anyone who obviously doesn’t want hear it. It’s simply not worth the risk. Besides, you know what happens when you try to give advice…
This piece was inspired by The 49 Commands of Christ by Dan Foster
~Thank You for reading ~
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