The Only Religion Should Be Love.
(And live it religiously.)
Prologue: A very smart and creative man inspired me to write this piece (and to sign up for Medium — thank you Sy) when he said that he’d like to sit down and get my take on Religion. We haven’t had the conversation yet so I may add to this astounding piece of literature that you’re reading here after he and I have it. (I’m kidding about the astounding part.) But seriously, I’ve been saying that in 2018 I wanted to start back writing again because writing is my first passion and I’ve neglected it for many years now. I’m giving myself a head start on my 2018 goals with this piece. I hope that you enjoy.
I’m a black woman and I grew up in Georgia. I spent a lot of weekends and summers with my grandparents which equates to church every Sunday and quite a few funerals on Saturday’s. I was raised as a Southern Baptist Christian and I used to say my prayers every night, grace before every meal and ask for forgiveness for my sins, all in the name of Jesus. While I still go to church frequently (shoutout to Buckhead Church), I no longer pray every night or say grace before every meal. No, I don’t ask for forgiveness for my sins either. If you’re a die hard Christian, I know that you’re probably fanning and gasping and that you’re labeling me as the ultimate sinner but just hear me out.
At a very early age, I started formulating my counter religion argument which is the following: so you’re telling me that the child in the remote village of XYZ that never even heard of Jesus Christ and never will in his lifetime is automatically going to hell and he doesn’t even have a shot at entering into the pearly gates of Heaven?
It didn’t sit well with me as a child and it doesn’t sit well with me as an adult.
Since I’ve always been an advocate of free-thinking and going against the grain, I decided many years ago that the only religion should be love.
And quite honestly (hold your breaths Christians), I think that Jesus would agree with me. (I’ll save this explanation for a future piece.)
Religion is a divisive and man made ideology that has (inadvertently at times) been forced down the throats of humans across the world for entirely too long. Wars have been started because of it. Murder, terrorism, slavery, sexism, etcetera, all in the name of religion.
What I’m about to write here may just do some of you in for good but bear with me. What if something revolutionary happened across the world and we forgot for just a few moments that we all believed in something different? What if we started to believe that regardless of what you believed before and why, that we would from here on out accept that we are all purposed here to love one another and help one another in whatever way that we could? (Read that again because I’m sure it was a runon sentence.)
What do you think would happen? What if we just loved religiously? How amazing do you think that we would be as a human race? What if we stopped focusing so much on praying for ourselves and started doing for others? I imagine that gratitude for everything that you have would be implied simply by your acts of kindness and love toward others. That is the definition of grace.
And call me crazy (or crazier if you’ve already labeled me) but I believe in the simple boomerang theory (I just made this up): what you put out will come back to you.
My life changed drastically for the better when I stopped focusing on myself and what I could do to make my life better. When I started to live out what our collective purpose is that I wrote above, just in my own little ways — hey friend, what can I do to help you? — I became surrounded by people that wanted to help me do great things that are leading me to wealth and change in not only my life but those around me. I stopped wondering what I’m supposed to be doing with my life because I knew. I start each day with love and purpose, not prayer or focus on myself and all that I’m doing wrong. I hope that you are saying now “That is a religion that I wouldn’t mind immersing myself in.” Sounds like fun right?
I choose love. And I choose it religiously. And I think that you should too.