"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others" Philippians 2:3-4.
This quote f"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others" Philippians 2:3-4.
This quote from Philippians, in my opinion, sums up what it means to be a Christian.
Jesus tells us that the two most important commandments are "Love God" and "Love your neighbour". Love is the running theme throughout the whole of the Bible...Christianity itself is purely based on the fact that God loves us so much that he sent his only son to die for us on the cross so that we can be saved from our sins.
The love that God has for us is so inconceivable that we cannot even hope to understand it...we don't deserve his love, yet he loves us unconditionally and completely.
The first of those two commandments is easy...how could we not love someone who is willing to give us everything He has to save us? How could we not have the utmost respect for a God so great, so powerful and so awesome and yet who brings himself down to our level to live life as a mere man, through all of the difficulties and temptations that life throws at us, to willingly and knowingly walk to his own horrendous death so that we may live...even though we didn't and don't deserve it? God Himself created love, and didn't Jesus say "give back to Cesar what is Cesar's, and God what is God's"?
The second most important commandment is the tricky one...we live in a time where self-love is seen as important. We are told to look after number one...which just shows the point doesn't it? We shouldn't BE number one!
The thing that I find most amazing about an atheist view is that if Christianity is false, and if the bible was a bunch of lies...what would be the point of making up such an elaborate and crazy story for the only purpose of telling people to love one another?
God's ideal world, the one that he wanted to create, is one where there is no poverty, not one person in need, pain or danger. Everybody sharing and only taking for themselves what they need. Unfortunately mankind think that they know better, and sin is marketed to seem "fun".
Everybody strives for luxury. If you ask people what they would wish for if they could have one wish, it would probably mostly be a lottery win, a great high paying job, something to make them better than others. I wonder if anyone would use their one wish for the sake of another person? I will be honest here and say that I probably wouldn't either!
Just imagine a world where everyone loved one another. A world where people help others without question. A world where no-one needs to feel anxious about their finances, where no-one needs to worry about what others think of them, where no-one needs to worry about other people stealing from them or hurting them. Just imagine a world where no-one is starving, no-one is homeless and no-one is lonely.
Right at the beginning of time (and you see this in remote communities now too) everyone in the community had a part to play in farming, cleaning, raising children etc. Everything was shared equally among the people. The people worked together. Then communities would trade with other communities...milk for bread, bread for meat, meat for clothing...and eventually you would be given tokens, instead of goods in return for your own goods or services. This would in time become what we know today as money...money is just tokens that we earn from trading our goods or services in order to trade for other goods or services that we need, or mostly, want. Somewhere along the line we stopped sharing these tokens and goods that we earned with our communities and we separated and became selfish. The people in our communities with less skills or with illness had less to trade, and therefore earned less money and became poor without the security of the community. This is where poverty stems from, from the separation of our communities. I suppose this separation became necessary somewhere...I won't pretend to understand economics. What I do understand however, is that this is not how we are supposed to be living.
Whilst we can't go back to those simpler times, what we can do is remember that we are supposed to love our Neighbours. We should be supporting and looking out for each other. Each and every person has a part to play in our communities and it is our duty to look out for the more vulnerable people.
Whenever I see a news story online about a person on benefits, I know without even looking that the comments section will be full of gems like "get a job", "scrounger" or "this person is what is wrong with our country". It actually makes me quite angry to see so many people ripping apart these vulnerable people and losing sight of what is most important. Usually these stories are about how hard the persons life is...how much they are struggling. But some people see the words "benefit claimant" and instantly brand them as "lazy" and "scrounging". These people deserve our help, compassion and our love...not our judgement and disdain. It's become the norm to look down our noses at the poor and the homeless...we are quick to judge and blame them as if it must be their own fault. The media almost encourages this.
The media also encourages us to want the best of everything. New technologies are coming out every year, with everyone "needing" the most up to date phone, this season's fashion, the newest games console, a fancy coffee maker...
It's a hard fact that for some people, a hot cup of tea, a proper meal and a warm bed are a luxury that they just cannot afford, let alone a new iPhone. The basic needs that we take for granted are something that some people just do not have.
What is your favourite chocolate bar? Mine is a Double Decker, I always slip some chocolate into my shopping basket...well, we all deserve a treat now and then, don't we?
Some people starve to death.
Some people...and it's actually whole communities, whole towns in this world, in this time, right now, starve to death.
Children starve to death. Their parents cannot afford to feed them, let alone themselves.
That's a very real fact, and it is happening right now.
Forget about our luxuries, forget about our basic comforts. Some people cannot afford to eat. They cannot afford to eat anything at all. These people aren't scroungers, they aren't lazy, their communities are just so poor that there just is no food.
Even in our own towns and communities there are people who can't afford to eat enough to stay healthy. Children in our own towns are turning up to school without having had any breakfast, and after a free school meal, some return home to no dinner. This IS happening in OUR communities.
Next time you are shopping, have a look around at all of the options and luxuries we have available to us...all of the "little treats" that we mindlessly drop into our trollies...and remember that there are people who live in our towns who can't afford a basic meal.
Our world wasn't supposed to be like this. The message of Christianity is love; love for God and love for other people. The point of Christianity is to share the Good News of Jesus dying on the cross to save us from our Sins so that we may ALL enter Heaven. The point of Christianity is to bring people to Jesus so that they will be saved.
What an amazing world we would live in if everyone were saved, if everyone knew Jesus and followed his command to "love our neighbour". What an amazing world it would be if we all shared what we had with others who needed it more than we do.
All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need… No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had… there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 2:44-45; 4:32, 34-35)