One thing I tried to do to get better was to simply adopt a belief. I believed in all sorts of things. On top of that, I was a walking self-help book. I studied the spiritual principles of love and kindness contained within Buddhism and Christianity. Meanwhile, I was a liar and a phony. I manipulated people and abused them. I stole people’s time, energy, love and trust.
Belief without action is useless. You could be a pedophile or a serial killer and believe in God. Just because I go to church and believe in Jesus or Buddha or Yahweh or Allah or whatever, that means I am a righteous person? So I can go hit the Sunday service and pray to Jesus but then come home and beat my wife, beat my kids, pound a 12-pack and watch the football game while everybody is bleeding in the background, and it’s all good??? That’s awesome. No need to worry then because even though I might be a total piece of shit, I’m automatically going to be saved and go to Heaven just because I Believe.
Sure, many who believe in some righteous doctrine or code of moral principles are probably not serial killers or pedophiles or deadbeats sucking off the public trough. But the point is that a belief alone won’t change me. For me to actually become that loving, principled person, I have to back up my belief system with action. I have to act right 24/7, and be sure to make it right when I act wrong. I have to gather all that is within me to act morally, ethically, honestly, patiently, compassionately, courageously, lovingly and fearlessly.
By the way, I continuously fail to live up to this, but I try. And I now know in my heart that action is WAY more important than some belief system.
So unless I practice the principles I claim to believe in, I am nothing. I really shouldn’t even be calling myself a Christian or a Buddhist or a Jew unless I live by the wisdom contained within each respective doctrine. I mean, would you rather have a friend who believes in what you do or a friend who is loving and loyal and listens to you, but he’s an atheist? Yup, I think I’d rather hang out with someone who doesn’t believe in jack shit but is kind, as opposed to the Jesus freak that goes home and flies into a rage. I guess a moral atheist is better than an asshole believer… but hey, what do I know?
God, teach me the belief without action is totally, utterly useless…