Something that I always am interested to know about people is what motivates them. What is it that makes a person go out of their way to do something that other people seem not to care about at all? What is it that calls a person’s devotion such that they will choose to sacrifice comforts or seemingly ordinary things in life? I know that my main motivation in life is my faith. I try to live what I believe and I strive to learn more and be better. I want my life to be an example of my faith, and because I am a Christian, I want people who know me to also have a desire to come to know Him. I know that my “good works” won’t “save” me, but I feel like I show my love for God through my obedience to His laws and commandments. I wonder what other people with different beliefs are motivated to do by their faith.
We currently see religion being the driving force for persecution and violence, especially by extremists and terrorists. The Taliban who are controlling Afghanistan have recently banned women from attending university, which was previously allowed even after “banning secondary education for grades six and above” for girls when they captured power. Boko Haram continues to terrorize Nigeria, and many of our Nigeria WAVE members are widows from this persecution. There are, unfortunately, throughout history and today, many who hide behind the name of religion to cause much harm.
However, there are also “millions of people of faith across the world engaging in social action projects to help the poor and marginalised,” according to The Guardian. Churches, mosques, synagogues, religious charities and individuals reach out, build bridges of understanding, run local food banks and feed hungry children around the world, support refugees, provide medical care, work to end discrimination and human trafficking, respond to crises, help to provide clean drinking water and education, send Christmas boxes to children, and much more. Of course, this isn’t to say that these actions are exclusive to those who identify as religious.. We are always thankful for people who help others simply from a desire to make the world a better place.
At the beginning of a new year, we often reevaluate our lives and make plans to polish our rough edges or strike out on new endeavors. My faith inspires me to love God and love my neighbor, to improve myself and try to help and lift others. I know that there are areas where I need to give more effort, and I am making goals and plans to do better. What does your faith lead you to do?
Go HERE for a very enlightening read about the roots of charity in five of the major world religions.
Go HERE for an interesting look at the populations of the major religions around the world.