By Richard Kent Matthews
I think of myself as spiritual rather than religious. I also know some folks take issue with that. So be it.
I found this interesting 'comparison' between good religion and not so good religion in, of all places, a job search book.* The author refers to them as healthy religion and unhealthy religion. Potato, po-TAH-to, right?
(Note: Wherever you see these - [ ] - I, Richard, have added a bit of my own, shall we say, expression.)
Here we go...
Here we go...
- Is obsessed with gratitude
- Focuses on the presence of God in the world, sees holiness everywhere.
- Sees all the world as 'us.'
- Is closely related to mental health with its emphasis on repentance (metanoia), or 'Most of my ills are self-inflicted.'
- Unconsciously exhibits humility.
- Treasures the differences in others.
- Has a high sense of 'all the saints' worshipping God together.
- Believes in learning from others.
- Renounces manipulation of others and lets them have their own beliefs.
- Wants God's forgiveness toward those who have harmed them or follow other gods; forgives readily.
- Focuses on what one can give out of faith, anxious to give others benefits.
- Faith is primarily a matter of actions; words are used only to interpret one's actions.
On the other hand...
- Is obsessed with guilt.
- Focuses on the presence of evil in the world; sees contamination everywhere. [!]
- Sees all the world as 'us vs. them.'
- Is distantly[?] related to mental illness (paranoia) or "'Most of my ills stem from what others are doing 'out there.'"
- Unconsciously exhibits arrogance.
- Wants everyone to be like them. [Or else!]
- Has a high sense of 'the individual alone with his/her God.'
- Believes in confronting others.
- Desires to manipulate others into accepting their every belief.
- Wants God's vengeance toward those who have harmed them or follow other gods; often has low, long simmering anger masked beneath a smile.
- Focuses on what one gets out of faith, anxious to get for themselves the benefits. [Prosperity gospel?]
- Faith is primarily a matter of words used as texts or orthodoxy...
- Doesn't even dream their faith may be unhealthy.
Did anything touch you or annoy you in a particular way? Any areas in which you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts. We'll discuss...
*Thanks to Richard Nelson Bolles in his magnificent book, What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017 Ed.