Written by Vivienne Juan, Associate Elect Partner
Belief in a higher being?! I would have laughed in your face a year ago (in fact, if I did, I am deeply sorry). The main way I see that belief in a higher being has affected my life is helping me to see the selfishness of my subjectivity, and this one-minute clip from the Christian Response Forum featuring J. Warner Wallace explains it pretty succinctly:
Here's the crux of it — I've lived my life till now (and yeah, still now; I'm working on it, okay?) in a way where, at the end of the day, as long as I was “happy" and felt “good", then whatever I said or did or thought was okay. Except that feelings of happiness and goodness always seem to fluctuate, right?
Having a High Standard
So really, “go with the flow” is just a nice way of hiding from myself the reality that I actually had no standards. By my “logic”, I'd have robbed a bank or stabbed a man if it pleased me to do so! I did what I wanted and called it good — threw my dart and drew the bullseye under it, after the fact.
In practice, it meant selling myself stories that justified actions and minimised consequences, when all the while, the reality of cause and effect meant that all I was really doing was delaying my inevitable demise.
Believing in God means that I now submit to the knowledge that there is something bigger than my body. That I'm not a law unto myself, that just like gravity, other objective and timeless natural laws and principles apply to me.
That I'm accountable to more than myself… Which is a huge responsibility, and inconvenient to say the least! Certainly inconvenient to the ‘old infant' in me that was used to wanton hedonistic reckless abandon.
We Need Help to Follow Through
Since that inconvenienced old infant in me had reigned for so long, there was no way I could take on the responsibility of striving to live the highest human ideal life on my own. How could such an imperfect person hope to hit that target?
In order to cultivate a deeper connection with Christ, I’ve also had to pay attention to my community, ensuring the people I surround myself with are the kind that aims to hold themselves and each other accountable to our mutual vision and ambitious goal of bringing forth the Kingdom of God.
The Humility in Accepting Failure
Am I pursuing pleasure, or am I principle-centred? Am I serving myself, or am I serving God’s higher purpose? Believing in a higher being means actually aiming at something, which also means learning to be okay when you fail to hit it perfectly, or when you completely miss the target altogether.
It's not a golden ticket through some pearly gates or whatever, but it sure is teaching me integrity, to name but one of the humbling lessons that I've no doubt will continue.
If this helps you in any way, or piques your curiosity, let me ask you this: Where do objective morals come from? Are human rights even real?! I've written another blog about this (yes, it's more about my understanding of a higher being), and I'd love to know what you think!
What is your Christian Response?
Have you ever asked yourself… Why are you Christian? Why do you believe what you believe, and how does it affect your life? How ought it to? At Lighthouse International Group, we have launched an initiative called the Christian Response Forum, designed to answer these questions and more, in order to empower Christians to overcome the barriers to their potential. If you would like to learn how to build value in your life, while alleviating the suffering of children in desperate need, please join us, and register your interest here.