Monday, April 21, 2014

Letters to Self: Religion is about Faith, Not Guilt

Letters to Self is a Self-help series written by M. J. Joachim, designed to encourage and promote healing and self-awareness for those who read it.



Dear Self,

Religion has a way of sometimes re-victimizing the one who is hurting, excusing the faults of others as weakness and sin that must be forgiven. It tends to give control to those who take it, rather than seeing each person as a child of God.

While it is true we must forgive our enemies, oftentimes, those who hurt us are not truly enemies, but misguided souls. This is one of several messages, Christ has imprinted in your heart throughout the years.

Weakness and sin don’t excuse poor behavior. Consequences and justice are required to set things right again. Without them, people get stuck in the past, unable to move on from their wounds or the pains they’ve inflicted on others.

You do love those who have hurt you. You also know, far too many of them have gotten away with unspeakable crimes against you and others. You’re not out for revenge or retribution anymore. Your faith has taught you the value of religion, letting you recognize that structure is important, despite the fact that some will always use whatever they can to oppress others.

When you strip your faith of all that has blinded you to its beauty, you realize that there’s so much more to being a person of faith, than you’ll ever be able to fully grasp. Faith is a gift beyond comprehension, if only people could see beyond the people who, willfully, ignorantly or blindly blemish its gift to the world.

Perhaps this is why you sometimes struggle with the differences between faith and religion, separating the two into different categories; it makes it so much easier to believe in the God who loves you more than you will ever comprehend.

Let Him cradle you.

Love,

Self

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