Luke 12:37a – Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. (NKJV)
I have sometimes been confronted with this accusation: "You only believe in God because your parents ground it into your head when you were young." The implication is that our parents taught us their beliefs, and we have quietly accepted them through the years without ever challenging them. Thus, all we Christians believe exactly what our parents believe because they, with the help of religious leaders and erroneous books and media, have taught it to us.
I beg to differ. Many people throughout the centuries have demonstrated great deeds and met superhuman challenges because of their faith in God — a God Whom they have never seen, I might add. Does it sound plausible that through all these centuries, people would meet these challenges and, indeed, suffer and even give up their own lives for a belief that is apparently so trivial and has such obvious holes in it? Are the unbelievers saying, then, that up to this point, billions of people were so weak-minded that they couldn't figure this all out for themselves? Is religious belief a matter of rote and memory, or an intelligent choice? Whenever we mortals come upon a difficulty, we approach it from many angles. We examine the hypothesis, we weigh one opinion against another, we mull over it for a while, we pray about it, and finally, we make our decision to believe or disbelieve.
I believe that divine intervention plays a major role as well. When we meet Christ and choose to accept His forgiveness, being set free from sin and guilt is so liberating, that we are transformed, and become eternally grateful to God. Making choices in our lives is something that we have always done. We choose to treat others with kindness and respect, we choose to forgive, we choose to do our jobs to the best of our ability. These choices have not been forced on us; we choose them because they improve our lives and those of others. We want to believe in these things.
To believe in the goodness of a Deity Who does not harm, Who does not wish our destruction, and Who promotes peace and love among people is something that my freedom of will desires to follow. I am happier when I choose good as opposed to choosing to hate, to take revenge, and to treat others badly. Just to think that there is not a God and that I have been duped all my life leaves me with ashes in my mouth and nothing to look forward to or strive for. To believe in the goodness of God and to follow His example brings happiness to me and to many others. Which weighs better on the scale?
Jesus asks, "When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8b NKJV) I know what I choose, and I pray that those I love, as well as my readers, will choose goodness as well.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, increase our faith in the goodness that You are, and help us to walk quietly and surely towards a loving and peaceful paradise that You promise. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "How Firm A Foundation" (Lyrics)