If you were raised with Christian values, certain ideals are close to your heart. You probably live your life based on certain rules that in general work. Good for you. Unfortunately, there are times when Christian values can hurt you. It’s when they are taken too far.
Remember Jim Jones? He was a pastor who wanted to create heaven on earth. All people of every nation would love each other and live equally. People would live with strong moral beliefs. And, the church would be the center of everyone’s life. Sound good? It was until he ended up poisoning his followers. Pastor Jones was successful because the Christian value of ‘trusting and not questioning one’s pastor’ was so strong in some of his followers that they didn’t realize he was off base until it was too late. However, they aren’t alone. Below are few other values that often get well meaning people in trouble.
1 – “Forgive and forget.”
You’ve sat in church and heard your minister or priest talking about forgiving others. And yes – he or she is right. However, The last part – forget – is not always helpful. Now, this is not an advocacy for revenge. It is a push for using your personal pain to help others. Just look at Mom’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD). This group began out of the loss of Candy Lightner whose daughter was severely injured by a drunk driver. This organization has gone one to enact important legislation that keeps the public safe. It also helps other families with similar tragedies. So, did Lightner forgive the person who hurt her daughter? By now, the answer is probably “yes.” Yet, the fact she didn’t just try to forget about it has helped thousands.
2 – “Liars never prosper.”
Okay. Yes, they do. Liars do prosper, which is why politicians lie all of the time to get into office. You can also see in the Bible where Rahab, a harlot, hid God’s men who came to spy on Jericho and lied to the people looking for them. As a result, her life and family’s life were spared from death. So, does this mean you should lie all of the time? No. In order to have a clear conscious and peaceful life, it’s best to follow the Christian value of not lying. There are just times when it appears to be okay to break it. For example, if you are like Rahab and hiding innocent people. In order to spare the life of the innocent, it is safe to say a good lie is in order.
3 – “Judge not less you be judged.”
Don’t want to judge others? Were you taught this Christian value all of the time in church or at home? Unfortunately, not having a sharp eye to weed out the good people from the bad ones can hurt you. Just ask a few church members in northern California who got scammed out of their church savings from a shyster. He came in with sweet words asking for money to get grants; these grants were going to replace and add additional funds to these struggling churches. Yet, no one had ever heard of him and some of his behavior was suspect. Why didn’t anyone check out his background before forking over money? No one wanted to judge him and as a result they got robbed. So, what is the moral of this story? It’s okay to follow your instincts and judge a person. You should be able to see people as they are and adjust your own behavior accordingly.
4 – “It’s better to receive than to give.”
Yes, it is good to be generous. You should consider everyone’s feelings and care for them. Yet, it’s easy for some people to fall into a trap of caring for others and forgetting themselves. This can lead to depression and failed dreams. What should you do? You should give to others and yourself. Remember, this Christian value doesn’t say you shouldn’t receive anything at all. So, keep everything in perspective and practice this value in moderation. You’ll see by doing so that you’ll have better results in your life.
5 – “Do unto others as you want them to do unto you.”
Think its great to treat others the way you want to be treated? In theory, it sounds good. Yet, in reality, people want you to treat them the way they want to be treated. Depending on their culture, family history and education, the treatment they want could vary greatly from what you’d like. So, you have to modify the Christian value of doing unto others to mean – do unto others, as they would like. It would help you have greater success in your relationships and hurt people’s feelings less.
Overall, the above mentioned Christian values won’t hurt you. This is just a reminder to keep them in balance and to use them with wisdom.