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Love, Jesus' way.




I've said that the command, articulated by Jesus but asked of us by God, from all time and of all people, is to love God and love one another. At face value, it seems straightforward enough and many of us think we do so. But, actually, it goes much further. We are to do this in everything we do.

Like the son who gave up his ambitions to earn money to support his siblings because his parents are too poor, the wife who gave up her career to stay home, the father who work two shifts to provide the best he can for the family, we are asked to use our abilities and talents to benefit others. And through that, we are fulfilled. If the question ever arises that we need to choose between our benefit and someone else's, we are to chose the other's.

This is really hard to do. And yet, it is those who made the choice and did so willingly, who are truly happy. As long as we cling to what we want, or need, to what we think will make us happy, we will never be truly happy. Even when we get it, the happiness is fleeting and empty. We need more.

That's why Christians talk about God's will, not ours. You don't go out looking for this. I mean, why would you? But you will be asked to do so. Maybe just the one time, but from personal experience, more than once. Depending on how you look at it, there will be more, or less.

Therein lies the difference between Christianity and Buddhism. Both ask that we turn from selfishness. But Buddhism ask for us to be detached, while Christianity ask for us to give. Furthermore, and that's the other side of the coin, Christianity encourages is to enjoy and celebrate those moments when we can be selfish and when we are the recipient rather than the giver. In Buddhism, you give up that as well.

This then is the challenge: Love God and love one another. Do it in every part of your life and you will find true happiness. Don't, and your life will be empty and no matter how content, you will not be truly happy. It doesn't matter if you are Christian or not.

PS: Obviously, this is not a scientific statement. It is self referential - if you are happy without living your life this way, I can claim it is not true happiness. There are so many ways to counter any argument against it, it becomes a statement that cannot be proven false. The only way to judge if this statement is true is through your own life. If it is true for you, it is true. Just because it cannot be proven scientifically doesn't mean it's not true. For example, Richard Branson admits to not believing in God but he seems to be happy living his life his way. It can be argued that he is just chasing one adventure after another and hasn't found true happiness, but I would rather he go on living his life his way than to convince him otherwise. It is very possible that he is right and I am wrong.



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