Saturday, April 28, 2012

Who's better? Or does it matter?

A young friend of mine posted, "I am beginning to realize that some of the best people I know are atheists."

I responded, "There are good people of every belief system, that has always been true."

I believe it, too. Oh, I am talking about the casual definition of good. From a theological perspective only God is good. (Mark 10:18: “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.) Still people of every religion are (or can be) friendly, law-abiding and helpful or even compassionate, self-less and heroic. Most, if not all, religions teach kindness. Those of no religion can and often do learn courtesy, respect, helpfulness etc from parents, teachers, and friends.

I remember being in an evangelism discussion once. The presenter encouraged us to live for others and when we were asked why, to tell them because that was what Jesus wanted us to do and go on to tell our faith story. An interesting idea, frequently espoused. I was working in a pediatric nursing home at the time, though, and my non-religious colleagues were rather good at living for others.  I could barely keep up, never mind do more.

I don't think that outdoing others, being "better" than them is the point though. I'm not sure that evangelism is the reason for living for others, though it can be a most excellent side effect at times. We are to put others before ourselves because we are told to.

Even that is not the ultimate point is it? We shouldn't be Christians because it makes us better than others. It doesn't. Anyway, it's not about us. It's about Christ. We are called to be His, to know His love for us and to love Him. Our actions flow from that.

Striving to be good, to do right is only one part of the picture. The other part is surrender. When we get to the end of our lives, it won't matter whether we did better than atheists or not. What will matter is that we know Christ.

Have a blessed day.

I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. This is post number 21 of 30 for April. Guess I better  get moving, eh?

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