Opinion Piece · Religion

Living Your Best Life

There’s a strain of Christianity that wants to tell you that God wants you to prosper. It’s sometimes referred to as the Prosperity Gospel, but really it’s just a symptom of a larger trend within American Christianity that focuses on your religion making you feel good. It goes part and parcel with the entire Christian market that focuses on creating a product for American Christians to buy. It’s really no different than the market that sells you sanitized, “Christianized”, Americanized products to fill your life with. Products that we use as insulation from the difficult parts, the ones that include actual people. It’s the inspirational bible quotes decor that costs $30 and was made in a sweatshop, it’s the Christian music industry that fills the airwaves with songs that are more motivational than religious, it’s the desire to find a monetary solution to every problem instead of actually having to sacrifice something we care about. It’s being at a comfortable distance from other people.

But, I believe we are called to a more rigorous kind of faith. One where we actually have to give of ourselves in ways that are uncomfortable and difficult. A faith where the answers aren’t easy. A faith that forces us to form relationships with each other, instead of just writing a check and forgetting about it. I think that the faith we read about in the New Testament is the kind of faith we can live out every day. And it’s not always, or even often, easy.

Because, sometimes, living your best life through Christ looks like this: 

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Beheading of Saint Paul – Fresco in Saint Paul’s Church of Lyon

Lord, prepare in me a clean heart that is ready to do Your will. Find in me a willing spirit to follow where You lead. Bring forth in me Your love so that I may give it to all people. Give me the courage to draw close to people, and the strength to love unconditionally. As I draw closer to others may I also draw closer to You. Amen.

Religion

August Augustine I

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“Even though you possess plenty, you are still indigent. You abound in temporal possessions, but you need things eternal. You listen to the needs of a human beggar, yet you yourself are a beggar of God.

What you do with those who beg from you is what God will do with His beggar. You are filled and you are empty. Fill your neighbor from your fullness, so that emptiness may be filled from God’s fullness.”

(Sermon 56, 9)

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Reviews

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop, Mini Review

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop by David Adam

5 of 5 stars

OCD is a disorder that is widely heard of, but very seldom known about. Many people think a strong desire for order and cleanliness are what defines OCD, but in reality it is much more than that. In order to cut through the misconceptions the author David Adam presents the real story of OCD. A story that he is suited to tell because he is afflicted by it. However, this in not just an OCD themed memoir, Adam puts his journalistic skills to work and unearths OCD as a disorder. He tells the stories, often tragic, of those who have suffered over the years, and he lets the reader know what it’s really like to live with the condition. He cites good science throughout the book and finally sheds light on a disorder that is all too often kept in the dark. This book is recommended for anyone who has an interest in psychology, or those who just want to know more about OCD.