I am not an atheist nor am I an agnostic and I am definitely not a student of theology but I have been thinking lately about how we who grew up in Christian families and identify ourselves as Christians treat adversity as against how we treat the good things that happen to us. When something good happens to us, our family or our friends we say “Thank You Lord” or ” Thank You Jesus” but when something tragic or simply bad happens to us we are brought up not to blame God. We say things like “God knows best” or “God has a plan for us” and we are not expected to question God’s decisions. We on the other hand are usually taught to take responsibility for our actions so we accept the praise when things go well and accept responsibility when we fail but God does not have to accept responsibility for any perceived failure because as we know God never fails. It is just that we are not privy to all the plans he has for us.
Now when it comes to being saved, the Bible says that we are not saved by our good deeds, we are saved by God’s Grace. In other words we do not enter the Kingdom of God because we helped a lot of people, or we gave to Charity or because we showed respect to our elders, or were good parents; we are saved if we ask God to save us and by his Grace we are saved. This suggests that someone can commit the vilest of acts and if he or she is genuinely sorry and asks God for his forgiveness, that person will be saved and we who did not commit any heinous acts and did our best to help others, would be on par with that other person.
Now this brings me to a real life situation. We are usually advised about the importance of education and being as qualified as we can be in order to get a leg up on the best job opportunities and then the person who gets the job oftentimes gets it because of who they know. It struck me that God seems to be practicing the same thing. It is those who know God who get into heaven and those who do not know God, irrespective of how “qualified” they are, i.e. how many persons they helped to achieve a better life, their volunteer work, etc. etc.; all of that comes to naught if you have not come to know God. So maybe we should not be too upset at signs of nepotism or just plain old favoritism.
One thing I am sure of is that even if we do not get an inside track to God’s Kingdom by our good deeds, it sure feels a lot better the more we help others and at least our acts of kindness do not push us to the back of the line. So let us continue to help all we can with whatever we have so that in the end we make life here on earth a little better for more of us.