As we’ve grown up, the assumption that more choice brings greater happiness has been written into the fabric of the world around us. But is this really true?
Our hypocrisy allows us to paint a more positive picture of ourselves than reality. Not only are we kidding ourselves but we also end up disconnected from God.
The primary way we understand someone to be trustworthy is not by what they say, but how they live. We’ve all met people who might claim to be whiter than white, but when you dig beneath the surface and see into the nooks and crannies of their life, they’re just as imperfect as the rest of us. So simply claiming to be trustworthy isn’t enough — we need to see it in someone’s behaviour.
It was a very difficult afternoon for both of us. I had to explain to Jen (my then girlfriend, now my wife) about how I had been looking at pornography. That day, as we went for a walk, Jen could sense that something was up. She could see I was angry with myself and holding something back. I was nervous about confessing, as I expected it would hurt her, but felt I had to be honest. So, we sat on a park bench and I began to explain what I’d done.
On a near daily basis, we find ourselves confronted with news of violence, conflict, suffering and death on a global scale. We’ve seen bombings in Brussels, shootings in Paris, car bombs in Ankara and countless atrocities across the Middle East and Africa. I find myself only half-digesting the facts of one horrific act, when, before long, news emerges of some other tragic loss of life in another part of the world....and so, we are faced with the great unsaid question: ‘What will fix it?
For some of us, success has become part of our identity. We have constructed a narrative about ourselves—which others have reinforced to us—that says: ‘You must be successful. You must be an achiever’. We feel a pressure to conform or live up to this identity...But if we don’t want to base our identity on what we do, what are the alternatives?
Sometimes religious people have given answers to the ‘Why?’ (God is testing you, you’ve done something bad in a previous life, or you’ve done something bad in this life & this is Karma.) At best, these answers are unsatisfying and at worst, dangerous and highly offensive.
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