Here’s my confession: I am moderately conservative and a religious person, and I love my fellow religious conservatives, but I have a message I want to send them — it’s time to stop being so negative!
We spend a lot of time lamenting the decaying morals and social values of our country, but think about this: Several decades ago an unwed mother had to live her life in shame and hiding; black people and white people could hardly associate on equal terms; homosexuals were treated with disgust and fear; few women could have careers or leadership opportunities outside their homes; people with disabilities were treated with embarrassment and often institutionalized; and the list goes on.
I’m not saying all of these issues have been completely fixed in present day, but think about how far we’ve come! As much as we fear shifting moral values, let’s not forget that some of these shifts have helped bring more love, kindness, and acceptance to our world. I for one am so glad I live in a place and time when love is triumphing over hate and shame. What a glorious time to be alive!
And one more thought to cheer your day. As a religious conservative, I often get the impression that people think I’m some sort of elitist when it comes to achieving “heaven.” And frankly, I think there are many religious people who believe only an elite few are actually good enough to reach the pearly gates. I’m sick of this attitude. I’m sick of good people feeling like they aren’t good enough to meet God’s standards, and I’m tired of people who look down on anyone who they don’t deem as meeting those standards.
We are all children of God. We all have a spark of his divinity within us, and he loves us more than we can comprehend. Why would our Father in Heaven, an all-powerful being, allow one of his divine children to fail if that child had any chance of success? Why would he choose to create only a few really “good” people and make the rest of us subpar?
For this reason, I believe most people in this world, deep down, are good people, regardless of their choices or circumstances. People make a lot of bad choices in this life, but I don’t think there is any bad choice our Father can’t help us overcome. It’s never too late. Do any of you really think God would condemn for ETERNITY the low-self-esteem teenager who chooses to do drugs to try to fit in with her peers? The man who lies and steals to make a living because he knows no other way? Even the suicide bomber, who spends his life being brainwashed into believing a dogma of hatred and fear? Are there really very many people in this world whose choices are so evil we would condemn them for all ETERNITY, as having no hope of ever changing and accepting God’s atoning love? I can’t believe there are very many people who will not eventually see the error of their ways, learn from their mistakes, and accept the gift of repentance our loving Father offers. But maybe I’m just an eternal optimist :).
So my friends, let’s start rejoicing! Let’s be glad for the amazing world we live in. Let’s focus on the good in others instead of fixating on the bad. Let’s spend more time seeing our fellow men and women the way God sees them — as children with boundless potential they will someday live up to.
We live in a glorious time — let’s start recognizing it!
P. S. This song pretty much sums up everything I’ve tried to say.