Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Do-Gooders | Manna for your Soul

A good friend of mine believes that the path to Heaven is by doing good. 
He is the typical Christian. He tithes, sometimes less but more or less as much as he can to make it 10% and wears Jesus Christ on his sleeves. He believes Christians are beyond reproach and if you aren't a Christian, you are untouchable and hence unlovable. 
In short, if you aren't a Christian, you are dead to him. 

How very unlike Jesus Christ!

But this isn't very far from the truth from the rest of us. I see a lot of non-Christians, living in multi-cultural societies, think as long as they 'do good', they will earn a place in the Heaven that God promised all of us. But then their definition of 'doing good' isn't unconditional. 

While many other religious books talk about love, in the Bible, the greatest of all commandments is 'Love thy neighbour'. 

Many times, we think 'doing good' means 'doing nothing'. We rarely mull over the consequences of our words/actions when we should actually remember that 'Love does no harm to a neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilment of the Law'. (Romans 13:10).

Christ during His time on earth, didn't discriminate. As news of His healing powers spread, people from Asia and beyond visited Him. He never coaxed people of other faith to follow Christianity, but He did preach the Kingdom to them. His parables of mercy and love inspired them. People believed in Him because they found a person who had Godlike wisdom with the talents of a magician living a simple life too fantastic to not believe. Until His crucifixion, His disciples believed that Jesus would one day become an emperor of Israel and appoint them as ministers. The lure of unlimited power on earth was just too much for His followers at that time. 
Alas! How similar we are!
We proclaim our faiths through bumper stickers, yet we are up the wrong creek. We are prejudiced towards religious fanatics who kill and destroy lives, yet we see drivers, and it doesn't matter who your god is, curse and swear at other drivers and pedestrians. We see people in authority abuse their power and to many of us, this is okay, because we are too sensitised to the evil in our times. 

The next time you are faced with a choice of action that will affect the lives of other people, pause and ask yourself 'Does this reflect Christ's concern and love for others? Or am I only concerned about myself?'

Doing good isn't going to take care of your visa to Heaven. And it isn't just loving your neighbour next door, but developing faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, and brotherly kindness towards that random stranger who may not share your religious beliefs.
Showing how wonderfully Christlike we are, even in times of turmoil and anguish, is the only way we can redeem our spots in Heaven.

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