Raise your hand if you grew up in the Bible belt of the deep south? What are some proverbs or tidbits advice you learned growing up in a traditional religious family?
I’ve heard my fair share of Christian tips and wisdom. Some good, some bad, and some quite questionable. But this specific topic is one I’m fired about because it’s one commonly ingrained and one I highly disagree with, performing kindness for selfish religious reasons.
Before I go any further, here’s a little background on my own spirituality. I’m by cultural standards a Christian. I truly believe and have a relationship with God, I believe in Jesus and what He did at the Cross, and I believe we can find wisdom in the Bible.
Now, for the specifics, I don’t agree with everything. I certainly don’t agree with (in fact I LOATHE) “converting” people. My spirituality is my own, and I’m not going to shove it down people’s throats. Each person has their own beautiful unique truth, and it needs honoring just as much as our own.
So one of the most common tidbits of “truth” I hear is “perform good deeds or kindness to earn your mansion in heaven”. Or, what you give shall be given back to you.
Now here’s an update of the meaning in case you weren’t raised in a religious home. In the bible (I’m not gonna waste my time searching for specific chapters or verses) it states how you earn a mansion or treasure in heaven for every good deed you perform on Earth, or earn your treasures for heaven. It also goes along with how you’ll be “reimbursed” or gifted for every gift you give.
There is some truth to this. What you put out is what you receive. Give, and you will be given.
I see people all the time encouraging others to give and help the world with these verses. An incentive I guess you can say.
But here’s my rant, DON’T perform kindness for selfish religious reasons.
Don’t be a good person so you’ll receive a giant mansion and lots of money for eternity. Don’t help the poor, visit the widows and orphans, or feed the hungry so you’ll live in that gold-plated heavenly room.
If you’re only helping humanity for your own skin, then you’re actually a selfish human being.
Now, I recognize human beings are naturally selfish beings, and nothing is wrong with that. We have to look out for ourselves. Just don’t mask your selfishness as religious righteousness.
If you’re helping others, do it for the sake of helping them. Help the poor because they deserve justice. Feed the hungry because they deserve full bellies. Help the oppressed so they have a chance at life.
Perform kindness knowing you won’t receive anything in return. Perform kindness knowing you won’t receive your mansion in heaven or receive your money back.
In fact, perform kindness knowing you’ll be tossed out and hated for it, gaining nothing but dirt in return. Encourage others to give back for the sake of humanity, not for some incentive.
This is the purest form of love, giving knowing you’ll lose everything. In my opinion, we experience the eternal love of God and feel His holiness by helping others without expectations.
Comment your thoughts below! I’d love to hear them.