Today’s post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog contained this quote – “Our innermost prayer should be that a Hindu should become a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim and a Christian a better Christian.” (Attributed to Gandhi)
In essence all are praying to be a better person and that’s a good thing. At their core all religions believe in and worship a supreme entity that rules the world that they know. Christians call that entity God. The other religions have their own names for the supreme being, some even using the word God in their beliefs, too.
Most religions also have written documents that define and codify the beliefs of the followers. All of those documents and books were written by followers, with most of the authors themselves being held in great reverence by the faithful. In most of those religious books that I know of, or have heard of, there are instructions given to the followers about how to be a better person by emulating the characteristics of the supreme being. In other words, there are instructions on how to be a better you.
As a Christian, I am reminded of the little bracelets that were embossed with WWJD. In the 1990s a youth group leader at Calvary Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan, named Janie Tinklenberg, began a grassroots movement to help the teenagers in her group remember the phrase; it spread worldwide in the 1990s among Christian youth, who wore bracelets bearing the initials WWJD – What Would Jesus Do.
Certainly, holding oneself up to the standard of Jesus is a tall task and likely impossible; however, stopping to think about that phrase before acting in any situation is both worthwhile and beneficial. It can help you be a better you.
In most cases being a better you means doing what is right, just, and honorable. But right, just, and honorable by what standards? That is where one’s religious beliefs come into play. They provide a set of standards by which we can measure ourselves. You should stop to think, “When this is all said and done, will I be proud of how I acted?” Proud by what standard? By the standards that you believe are set by your religious beliefs. If you are a Christian and what you are about to do does not meet the WWJD standard, then you will feel the guilt of failing to meet that standard. That feeling may be enough to deter you from that action (or inaction).
So, take the advice of Gandhi to heart and add to your prayers the request that God help you be a better Christian/Hindu/Muslim/Whatever, a better you. And, if you are a Christian, remember to stop and think WWJD. Be a better you.