Ever been made fun of about something you like, or something you believe in? Yeah, me too. It seems these days that most people live to bring everyone else down to their level instead of trying to get up to the same level as others. This happens in some people more than others, or rather I should say that some people have let it become a habit. I’m definitely included in that group, but I’ve been working hard to stop.
With today’s culture how it is, anyone who stands up for anything gets ridiculed – well, unless of course they stand up for what the majority likes. Then they’re basically crowned as king. So instead of people standing up for their own interests and beliefs, they just go with everyone else wants them to say. I mean, part of our society deals with aggressive protesting for rights, but that’s standing up for other people’s beliefs.
I’ve been made fun of for what I believe. Christianity isn’t getting very popular these days. It’s seen as old-fashioned and outdated, which if you think about it makes no sense – if we threw away everything that was old, we’d be stuck drinking grape juice instead of wine. I’m not saying that everything gets better with age but rather that you cannot determine something’s worth by how old or new it is. Society tells us to embrace every new development, especially those ones that science throws at us. Need I mention that science and medicine have told us many conflicting things, such as how egg whites are bad for you, then how egg whites are good for you? That’s a true story; science definitely makes some great breakthroughs, it just sometimes takes two or three times to get it, meanwhile heralding their other incorrect breakthroughs as truth until they discover they were wrong.
Let me expand on that example a little bit more. If you think about it, assuming the scientists have it right now and that egg whites are in fact good for you, does that mean that before they discovered it that it was false? Of course not. I mean, if egg whites are good for you, then they were always good for you, even during the period of time that scientists said they were bad. So the truth is true no matter whether it’s old or new.
What am I trying to get at here? Christianity isn’t going “out of date.” Or rather I should say that while Christianity might be getting less popular, that doesn’t mean it’s any less true. And yet that’s likely the biggest reason that people are disregarding Christianity and religion in general. They discount it as old-fashioned and out of touch with modern culture. But I’m finding more and more that the Bible still has everything to do with everyday life. Sure it might not mention telephones and automobiles, but the principles outlined still hold as true as the day they were written and even back to the day they were created.
So why do I stand for what I believe even when others are ridiculing my beliefs? The simplest answer is that I used to be like those people. I used to make fun of anyone who was either better or worse than I was. I would make fun of those worse off than me because I was better than they were (or so I thought anyway), and I would make fun of those better than me because I didn’t want to face that fact. I would rather justify who I was in my wishy-washy self by laughing at them than actually see them for who they were – people who stood up for what they believed even though people like me were trying to pull them back down into the sea of indecision and “go with the flow” mentality.
I will no longer be like that. I’m not going to criticize or ridicule anyone – not those better or those worse than I am. The truth is that no matter how pathetic or stupid anyone is, they’re still human, and that’s enough for me. They are made in God’s image, as am I, and I will honour that. You know why? Because I have a backbone now. I’m not just going to go with what others say. And if anyone has a problem with that, then I really could care less. I’m different now. And while it might be quite easy for me to look down on those who are still in the same position as I used to be, I will do my best to keep from doing that.
There are some out there that criticize everyone who comes their way just because they’re different and refuse to face facts. Let me point out a few facts of life here. First off, everyone dies some day. And the measure of your life is not going to be how many compromises you made or how many big screen TVs and limousines you acquired during your life. Those things will all disappear quite quickly after you die. All your possessions will be divided up to your kids or relatives, and they can do with them what they want.
I suppose I’m attempting to answer the question that so many have asked and so many more are trying to avoid: “What is the purpose of life?” Seeing as everyone dies, so many options can be stroked off the list. Wealth and power, fame and accomplishments mean nothing when you’re dead. Your wealth will be given away, your power will go to someone else, your fame will be replaced by another, and your accomplishments will be outdone. No material thing on this earth can fulfill the purpose of life. Even living for happiness is purposeless. You live for an average of 80 years on this earth, and is living for yourself going to really matter for the rest of the thousands of years you’re dead? There’s no hope in that. There’s no hope in anything.
You could even try living for other people and making their lives better. You could be the next Mother Teresa and devote your life to helping others. But where does that get you? You’ll die, then those that you’ve helped will die. Your impact on the earth might be greater, but it will soon fade. People like Mother Teresa are written down in the history books to be remembered, but eventually they will be replaced. Mind you, they might last a lot longer than people like popstars that have a few years of fame and then disappear, but still – who cares about having your name in the history books when you’re no longer alive? Who cares about anything when you’re dead?
So what is the point of life? What’s the reason for being here? Is there even one? I’m starting to sound quite pessimistic, aren’t I? But I still believe there is hope and a purpose for this life. You see, without God, there is nothing. Nothing on this earth can ever give you satisfaction. People have run after money, fame, power, and sex, and they all leave feeling empty. They all feel something missing inside. Those things satisfy for a while, but they fade away.
I like to think of it this way. You can go to all the parties, you can have crazy wild sex every weekend, and it’ll feel great. But after a while, you’re going to get old. What are you going to think as you sit in your rocking chair as an old man or woman? Are you going to look back on those times with a smile on your face, or are you going to wish that you could have done something more meaningful? I think if you truthfully answer that question, you’ll have to say the latter. All things on this world can fulfill your life for a while, but they all fade away.
The reason I still have hope in life is because God is not of this world. God is someone who encompasses everything. It’s been said that everyone has a God-shaped hole in their heart. As I look at my own life and at the lives of others, I see how true that is. Living for God gives hope beyond death. It’s an investment. When you start doing everything for God instead of trying to find fulfillment, then He pours back into you and fulfills you. He gives an eternal hope past death and past all the temporary things this life has to offer.
I must confess, I’m still horrible at living for God instead of myself. It’s definitely hard. But the excitement’s all in the challenge. I know that even if I fail, God comes and picks me up again and says, “Alright now, try it again and you’ll do better this time.” It’s such an awesome feeling knowing without a doubt that He’s there, right behind me.
Perhaps you’re not ready for something like this. Maybe you don’t believe me. That’s okay; I don’t expect anyone to. It’s something that must be experienced for yourself. I’m just saying that I’ve tried what this world has to offer and it left me bitterly empty. It’s wise to take advice from others, and if you ask anyone who’s been there before, they’ll tell you it’s empty. And I’m not talking about asking the “people” on television. A multimillionaire (can’t remember the name right now) was interviewed once and asked how much money was enough. He replied, “Just a little bit more.” Money, sex, and power just leave you wanting more – it’s never “enough.” If you want advice on what to strive after, ask someone who’s lived a life of drugs or someone who’s spent their entire life trying to get “more” – trying to get that state of satisfaction. I can guarantee you if they think about it, they’ll answer that the way they traveled is unfulfilling. And that’s sad.
There are so many people out there that will never understand this until they think it’s too late. The truth is that it’s never too late to get right with God, but it still is too late to reclaim those wasted years of their life. I just never again want to start traveling down that road. I got a taste and never want to go back. For those that don’t see where they’re going or refuse to turn back, good luck. You’ll definitely need it.