I have designated 2021 as the Year of Contentment. Contentment is something everyone strives for, but few understand how to achieve it. This year’s blogs will focus on learning contentment, and many will use Biblical teaching as its guide.
Why use Scripture as a guide to learning contentment?
Multiple years of research and study have convinced me of Scripture’s veracity. Thus, I want to understand its meaning and apply it to my life. Moreover, multiple research demonstrates the benefits of religion and spirituality against burnout and finding contentment. Those who are religious or spiritual have more resilience and are less likely to burnout because practicing a particular religion or spiritual regimen allows one to cope better with the stresses that caregiving produces. But all of the research fails to address one vital piece of the puzzle.
What if the religion you practice is wrong?
We live in a time when it is offensive to say that any particular religious practice is wrong or illegitimate. “All roads lead to the same peak on the mountaintop,” people say, and, “We should accept all religions.” I agree, in part. As a society, all religious practices should be accepted, provided they adhere to the law. But this does not mean that all religions are equally valid.
Religions teach different things. In Buddhism, there is no God. Following Hinduism means worshiping many gods. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam teach there is one God (but God’s identity varies). If religions teach different things, they cannot arrive at the same mountain, let alone the same peak.
Moreover, every religion is exclusive. Let me say that again, every religion or worldview is exclusive. If you disagree with the worldview that all religions lead to the same mountaintop peak, you are rejected. If you disagree with the worldview that there is one God, you are dismissed. If you don’t believe the worldview that there is no God, you are, again, excluded. This notion shouldn’t offend us. It’s just basic logic and common sense.
The Real Question
It’s not enough to say that practicing a religion provides coping and resiliency to combat burnout. That’s great, but the real question is,
Is it true?
Learning contentment starts with the proper worldview.
Imagine you’re on a bus driving at full speed toward a cliff. If you take a drug, say Ativan or Versed, that will help with your attitude. I guarantee it. Suppose the doctor moderately sedates you for a bronchoscopy or wisdom teeth extraction. In that case, you’ll know that you do not care what the physician or dentist is doing during the procedure. Sedation covers your cares. But there is a crucial piece of this puzzle that needs addressing: How do you prevent yourself from going off the cliff?
If practicing a particular religion helps you cope with stress, congratulations. But ask yourself if you are confident that the bus you’re on isn’t racing toward a cliff?
Managing and protecting yourself against burnout is essential. But don’t think that any religious practice will do. Do your research, follow the evidence, and be convinced that your worldview is legitimate and valid. Otherwise, you may be blissful as you careen towards the cliff, but you’ll still be dead.
Contentment Key: Contentment depends on the credibility of your worldview.
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