In a world where you can be anything you want to be, perhaps the best thing you can be is yourself. The old saying is that everyone else is already taken. Who else are you going to be?
It’s amazing how society tells us to be ourselves, until we actually do it. Peer pressure doesn’t stop just because you get older. It actually gets more intense. They say kids can be cruel in elementary school but the big boys in the real world can be a lot meaner.
People tend to struggle with reality. Though the reality they struggle to accept is usually someone else’s version of it. And in metaphysical terms, the reality that everyone struggles to accept is only 1% of the overall reality that we can even see with the naked eye.
We’ve heard the old saying “Survival of the Fittest” and the famous one “God helps those who helps themselves.” Is this Biblical? Who are the fittest and the ones to whom God helps that help themselves?
Mental illness along with illnesses of the body are usually not found in those that consider themselves “strong.” Even the “strongest” person admits they have weaknesses. So why don’t we acknowledge our illnesses, particularly mental, as our weaknesses? We admit our character defects which for the most part include our sins. So why don’t we consider our infirmities as weaknesses? After all when you struggle with something for a long time it can wear down your body’s immune system. This is especially true when as we get older and prolonged years of stress & anxiety “weaken” our immune system and we end up having to take medicine as we get older.
So who are the ones who are the fittest? Some have a strong faith in God and some are strong in and of themselves. However no one is entirely that strong in and of themselves apart from God. Therefore it’s God who gives you the grace to make it through each day. You’re just deluded into thinking you’re such a “good person” in and of yourself.
Years of being grounded in the Word of God can “strengthen” your character as well. As you pray and seek God you can better discern His Will for you life so that you know almost exactly what to pray for. Then you stand on the Word and trust in God’s timing for the answer. God for the most part either says Yes when He grants it to you or wait. He only says no if it goes against His Word. Although all your prayers have their yes in Messiah Yeshua as everything you ultimately seek can be found in Him; security, significance, salvation, purpose,
So to sum it up Survival of the Fittest can best be attributed to Survival of the Faithful. Although no matter how godly or faithful you can get you can always get struck down with cancer, heart disease, mental illness. You will be healed of it even if it kills you; i.e. if God uses it as His means of Grace to call you home.
It is common knowledge in the world of Psychology that depression is related to living in the past while anxiety is likewise being too focused on the future.
That being said, the best place to live is in the moment. Or as the New Age Gurus refer to it: “living in the NOW.” I have been practicing mindfulness the past six years and I will be the first to admit that my natural ambition in life took a downward spiral. Especially when the Spirit showed me that I didn’t need all of this “stuff” and that I was already wealthy in the spiritual realm.
The result was I had a hard time looking for even a part-time job for nearly a year. I knew all I had to do was take the first step. I even begin to wonder if I needed medication to get me to conform to the pattern of the world.
Now I am facing the same dilemma with taking a second job just so I can pay off a car payment faster (don’t worry as I haven’t taken it out yet). Nowhere in the Bible will you find a reference to mindfulness. Usually when you think of this practice, you think of eastern religions like Buddhism. That does not mean it is not a biblical concept if it keeps you grounded in the Christ.
The Bible also gives no reference to a “trinity” or a “rapture” either. Do you really think you can limit the Divine to just 66 books? Even the Catholic Church has included the Apocrypha to their Bible. Give them time and the Gnostic gospels may even be added.
Anyway, back to the point of this article. Practicing mindfulness can kill your ambition. Just look at my blog post “how God ruined my life.”
It is okay to have ambition and strive for things. Just don’t get so focused that it hinders the spiritual journey. You will know this is happening if you begin to feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. As Jesus said, focus on the troubles of today and don’t worry about what tomorrow may bring since the next day is not promised.
Even His own half-brother admonished us to humble ourselves before the Lord toward the end of the book of James when his people were focusing too much on all of these things they were going to do tomorrow and thereafter. Besides, material wealth is gathered little by little. As you work on a daily basis, your real wealth will continue to grow. You may even surprise yourself by how much you have 20 or 30 years down the road.
Just don’t make material wealth a priority in life. Work hard, set goals, but keep them in proper perspective when it comes to eternal values.
Literally everything we do will not matter in the afterlife as that is a different realm entirely. The Bible even says that the flesh profits nothing. The only thing that matters is our attitude towards God and how we serve our neighbor in love.
Jeremiah 17:9. . .”The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But God searches the heart and examines the mind and gets to the heart of the human, the root of things, and treats them as they really are and not as they pretend to be.” (Message Bible)
The Apostle Paul said he became all things to all people so that he may win a few. I learn more about my faith by relating to non-believers and seeing what it is about my faith that they are really rejecting. The biggest thing that comes to mind is they see Christians as repressing their desires in an attempt to live for God. I learned in 12-Step groups that repressed desires are the leading cause of mental health issues. This could explain the Religious Trauma Syndrome that many people suffer from when they leave the Church.
Repressing our desires is not the freedom that God calls us to in Christ. While our desires are natural, they are not always Godly. When we turn from our own path and seek out the path of righteousness that God laid out for us, He begins to show us a new path to take; aka being born again, or a fresh start in life.
We don’t have to struggle with our desires. Maybe they are something good that God wants us to have. We should go after these as long as the Spirit doesn’t convict us and we put God first. Every desire is basically good at its starting point because it serves a basic need that we have. Our relationship with God meets every need that we have at its core.
We don’t struggle with or repress our desires. We simply rise above them and become fully human and live the life that God calls us to live. This is what Jesus meant when He said our faith is the victory that overcomes the world.
Stress can be the number one killer as well as the root cause of most every sickness. Of course who am I to say these things since I don’t have a license to talk about anything medical or psychological. I am just a self-educated blogger. Self-education doesn’t count for much in a scientific world. Even if you read all the right stuff and know just as much as any medical professional.
Most people don’t know that there are two kinds of stress; there is distress and there is eustress. Distress is the one that most of us are more familiar with. This is the state of suffering, agony, and state of being in trouble. The distressed state is normally temporary but won’t feel like it when it is being experienced.
You have to be at a higher state of awareness to understand eustress. This is defined as psychological stress that is moderate or normal and can be beneficial. Just like there can be healthy fears. The healthy kind of fear and stress is that which motivates us to do better and achieve more; as long as we are balanced about it and don’t get too caught up in our life’s work. The latter can turn to distress really quick.
Practicing mindfulness can help us to alleviate the distress and allow more of the eustress in and help keep us focused in our life’s pursuits.