My posts are getting longer. If I make them too short they won’t be clear. If I make them too long, they may also get unclear. I’m trying.
I’m writing this blog as if I’m writing from my personal experience. And I am. But what I’ve found in my personal experience is EXACTLY what the Bible also says, at least as I interpret it (and many other Bible scholars). It would be confusing and upsetting if, being a Christian, I began to experience things different from what the Bible says. I’m glad my personal experience with all this lines up with the Bible. [See, some readers here would say they aren’t convinced the Bible is from God. That’s fine. But you must identify these doubts/questions and seek out the Truth regarding them. You can’t ignore your doubts/questions.]
What every person wants is the peace/joy that we think we can gain by acquiring cars, house, money, being a good person, etc. These things are a means to and end – that end being peace/joy. You can tell what each person thinks will best bring him peace/joy by what he WORKS for. Some want money. Some to do good deeds to be a “good person”. Some want to lose weight or have new clothes. Some pursue education or career status. Most pursue various relationships. But, all these things are not valuable in themselves. It’s just that people think that they will lead to peace/joy, which is what everyone is ultimately after in this life.
More than anything, I work for the Truth because I’ve found that it brings peace/joy which is what I want most deeply, as all do.
The whole God/Jesus backstory is true.
Without the God/Jesus backstory, nothing can satisfy the human soul. Peace/joy can only be fleeting and intermittent.
Anyone who has a clear understanding of the God/Jesus backstory will be so glad about it and that it’s TRUE will experience lasting peace/joy much greater than they’ve experienced before. This person will think, “So THAT’s what this life is all about, after all. Life makes so much sense now. I have a sense that all my needs are met, now, knowing what I now know.”
Except for those who have the God/Jesus backstory, each person must awake each day to try to WORK for relatively small dribs and drabs of peace/joy. Dribs and drabs like making money, having relationships with friends and family, being handsome or pretty, staying organized, having a comfortable home, checking things off the TO-DO list. Basically trying to scratch out bits of peace/joy by pursuing (working for) these kinds of things.
These dribs and drabs can not satisfy in a long lasting or consistent way. But, if that’s all you have (because you don’t have the God/Jesus backstory), then you pursue it because it’s all you have. Most people try very hard not to “call bullshit” on these dribs and drabs because it’s a terrifying thought that the ONLY HOPE they have for any peace/joy might be debunked. This can leave a person even suicidal.
There is much emotional pain in pursuing peace/joy via the dribs and drabs approach. So many things “go wrong”. Relationships break up. We get fired from our jobs or we quit because we are unhappy. Our money runs short. Our kids go wild. Sometimes they die. People mistreat us. We get embarrassed from time to time such that we can’t forget our blunder. We age and get less good looking. We often “lose” in our secret competitions with others. We aren’t happy for others when good things happen for them, not us. Others don’t notice or appreciate the good we do. But, they notice our mistakes. I could go on and on. Bottom line: There is much emotional pain in pursuing peace/joy via the dribs and drabs approach.
When a person says they desire peace of mind, they are saying that they are longing to not have to scratch out the meager rewards of going after the dribs and drabs. Our desire for peace of mind is really our longing to not have to work so hard and so unsuccessfully to be happy (peace/joy).
And, what happens if we ever really GET what we think we want/need to have peace/joy? Like what does it feel like when we make some huge money or get famous? The peace/joy of those events quickly vanishes and we find that what we were going for all along doesn’t satisfy very well. I’ve had that experience many times in my life. Think of Hollywood or professional sports. These people aren’t satisfied in their souls, except those who have big chunks of Truth about the God/Jesus backstory. The only reason everyone goes for dribs and drabs is that they don’t know any better way to get any peace/joy at all.
By this point, you should have lots of questions and objections to what I’ve written. I urge you to note them and seek answers. There are big rewards. I will try to answer them if I can.
You probably believe this: When things (circumstances) go well for you, that will cause you to be happy (peace and joy). When things don’t go well, that will cause you to be either sad or anxious or angry or some other negative emotion. Basically, you won’t be happy. Let’s look at this a little closer. I’m going to be arguing here that our feelings (good or bad) come not directly from the circumstances of our lives but from what we BELIEVE about our circumstances. Let’s do a thought experiment to test this idea.
Hypothetical: Let’s say that you are experiencing severe financial distress and all the emotional pain of fear, discouragement, etc. Can’t pay the bills. Yet, unknown to you, a distant relative who lives in another country has left you $10 million in a foreign bank account that you’ve never been told about. So, you’re wealthy, in reality. But, you don’t know that you are. Yet, your feelings are not caused by the REALITY of your wealth. They are caused by the MISTAKEN REALITY of what you believe – that you are broke. If you knew and believed that you had the $10 million, you would not be in emotional distress about your finances. I’m trying to be brief. This paragraph may not adequately make my point. Let me know.
You should be accusing me of this: Dude, all you wanted was to feel good. You were like a drug addict. You were willing to swallow ANY philosophy if it would make you feel good. This invalidates your claims
My response: If you’re right and there is no God, then there is no objective right and wrong in the universe, so it can’t be “wrong” to choose to believe something because it gives me peace/joy. If there is no right and wrong, then it can’t be morally better to believe what is true vs. believing something that is factually untrue. If there is no God, then there is no one to whom I must give account. I can believe whatever brings me peace and joy. You can’t logically object to this
However, as for me, I think I’ve found the Truth. I have lots of reasons that I’ve acquired over 30 years. It would take a long time to explain them to you. But, I would.
By the way, if you went out and examined every other doctrine of belief, you would not experience the peace/joy that I’ve experienced. There is no other. I looked for 30 years.