Living by the Jesus rules

2013-04-12 00:00

MAHATMA Gandhi was not alone in believing many of us Christians do not live like the man we follow, but some of us try despite enormous provocation.

When I say that I live my life by “the Jesus rules”, I feel pressure both to quote and not to quote the scripture, depending on who I talk to. Well, I may have the lyrics to hundreds of songs in my head, but I do not have the exact verse. Word is he said: “Love one God”. Then he said: “Love your neighbour like you love yourself”. It is such an easy code of conduct to live by. I wonder why so many people struggle. Neighbours are obnoxious, I guess, and God is invisible. What do you do then?

I find the rules a nice summary for us novices in this journey called life. After three decades I still fall everyday. Recently, I was wearing a rosary that my Indian mother gave me and a buddy recognised it. Unfortunately, he felt the need to try to show me what a far-fetched thing believing was and there went a good 20 minutes we could have used on different topics. I defended my faith a little, but after a while I opted to listen. Why not? I always learn.

Whatever we feel about Jesus Christ, many believe he lived once. I say this based on conversations with Muslim friends who believe he was one of the prophets, although not as special as Christians think. Recently, I randomly watched a documentary where they speculated that he had received some of his teachings in India.

Even if he was a regular philosopher, he made some great points.

I studied philosophy over a decade ago and learnt of concepts like being a Kantian if you agreed with Emmanuel Kant’s views. He said it much more elaborately, but his feeling was that if you do something, it should be alright for everyone else to do the same.

Then in politics and sociology you learn of followers of Karl Marx, called Marxists. I think about his opinion that “religion is the opium of the masses”.

Whatever, I’m cool with it since I don’t consider myself the masses. I’m too unique for that, but I do like the man who made ethical reciprocity famous.

If you think of it as a pass mark, one out of two is at least 50%, even if you are atheist or agnostic. You needn’t believe in God to agree that it is a good maxim to “love your neighbour like you love yourself”. Most call it the golden rule and it is observed in most societies.

I even fight my neighbour like I’d fight myself, and we are all alive and happy afterwards. And then we avoid fighting and play nice.

Of course, we then start the journey to be righteous so that what we reap is not too bad due to what we sow. Logical stuff.

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