When I was younger, I used to write a lot of articles on faith. Basically 80% of my articles were dedicated to this subject. I wrote on ways how to find God, how we can practice our religion, and I also wrote on historical events. After some years I learned that, before I could fully write about how believing in God can enrich your life, there are a number of misconceptions that need just as much awareness.
The main focus of We Share to Inspire is not fate and religion specifically but rather — a part of our mission includes debunking myths and misconceptions in general. Read our story here.
Misconceptions can be one of the driving factors which can limit people in knowing God’s existence.
Throughout the past years I’ve heard many misconceptions surrounding faith. Therefore I’m not so surprised anymore when I hear them around. But one of the main misconceptions which keeps baffling me over and over again is that by believing in God we don’t have any form of responsibility. That we are some helpless human beings, waiting for someone to feed us. Or, that the valid reason to believe in God is that we are reassured of a problem-free life. Although I must admit I was guilty of believing the latter myself for some time, I now feel the utmost joy knowing that I can influence my life by my own actions.
For some people this misunderstanding has built a solid fundament in their lives: thinking that we don’t need to take any other responsibility if we just believe in God.
I don’t know whoever brought this misconception alive, but the truth is, all people must take full personal responsibility if they want to live in harmony.
First things first, obviously it would be absolutely incredible if we could all close our eyes, take a long nap, and then wake up seeing God has granted all our wishes. Would anyone say “no” to this? I wouldn’t. To be honest, I love an easy process; I don’t like to make life complicated. But the inconvenient truth is life can be complicated. Very complicated at times. Regardless if you believe in God or not, there are going to be difficult moments in your life.
The idea that God will grant our wishes in a blink of an eye, without having to do the work ourselves, seems to be a widely accepted misconception within religious communities as well.
For example: I have seen religious people praying for a good spouse, they pray their heart and bones out, asking from God to grant them a potential spouse. I’ve seen such people taking all possible action to find a good spouse. Once they have found the love of their life and marital problems arise, all of a sudden responsibility is a term swiped away out of their vocabulary. They no longer consider themselves to be a possible part of the problem and they start blaming their fate.
I believe it’s disrespectful to neglect blessings in life by not wanting to reflect on our own deeds and how they could be a part of the existing problem. I believe the first question one can ask when they find themselves in a conflicting environment is: “What is my contribution to this problem?”, and reflecting on the contribution of others is the next step. Surely it’s not a good idea to let blessings slip away by thinking this must be one’s fate and solving the problem does not depend on anyone but God. Even if fate has led you to such a state, it is not the irreversible moment of your life where you will be stuck in forever. Fate is dynamic, not static.
This is where we find our responsibility and how life can only work if we cooperate with it.
When you read Holy Scriptures, you will notice all prophets had to take a certain action to fulfill their mission in this world. None of them were sitting back. All of them, to the last breath of their departure, have cooperated with God to reach their purpose.
The other misconception related to this subject is the belief of atheists that there is no reason to believe in God if there is so much misery in this world. Wars, poverty, violence: the list on injustice has no end unfortunately. I believe we come to a crucial point here. When believers accept faith, they first accept God’s existence. This goes much deeper and has more credibility to them than thinking we can blame fate for everything that happens in the world
As I’ve embraced that, although I believe in God, I’m the person who is responsible for my own life. I no longer tackle existing issues in this world from the angle of being helpless.
There is still a lot of work to do in this world. And whether we believe in God or not, whether we may like it or not, we are pointed to our full responsibility to make life work.