Now, I have never personally run into anyone who feels that Faith is nothing more than a crutch, but I do know that such folks exist. The whole idea of a Personal Relationship with Jesus would be completely foreign to them, something that, under most circumstances, they would only smirk at and give no serious consideration to.
However, I believe that such people consider themselves extremely pragmatic, so, for those individuals, I thought it might be nice to give a little fodder for thought. In fact, you may have some family member or friend who, while they don’t necessarily consider Faith a crutch, may need a few pragmatic reasons to consider having a Personal Relationship with Jesus. It is those family members and friends I would suggest you forward this Blog to!
Let’s start by making sure that we all agree on what “Pragmatic” means. For the purpose of this dissertation we will define it as: Dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. For the TRULY pragmatic, this allows us to take emotion out of the equation. With that thought in mind, here we go! Now, I DO need to warn you that this Blog will probably be longer than most that I write, so go fill up your glass of ice tea, cozy up in your favorite easy chair and read on!
1. CHRISTIANITY PROMOTES A HEALTHY LIFE STYLE
As usual, I am NOT going to rant on about the evils of smoking, drinking, and carousing. What I AM going to say is that most of us who are Christians, do, for the most part, avoid those in our daily lives. In fact, I HAVE heard many people say, “I don’t want to become a Christian because I would have to give up all those things I love.” So, let me share with you what I typically tell people who put that before me as a reason for not becoming a Christ follower.
“I can understand why you wouldn’t want to give up smoking. I mean, WHO in their right mind would want to give up the opportunity of turning their fingers yellow? And, not only that, if you give up smoking you immensely DECREASE your chance of contracting lip, throat and lung cancer. Not only that, knowing how much you love your family, especially your children, I can understand why you would not want to deprive THEM of all that they can experience by being exposed to second hand smoke.
“In the same way, I can understand why you don’t want to give up drinking! I mean, if you do, you will probably prevent Alcohol from causing a permanent disruption of the brain’s communication pathways, which can lead to heart and liver damage. Alcohol also leads to an increased likelihood of many cancers, including cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, and breast – and who would want to miss out on any of that. When a person drinks too much alcohol, it can also weaken their immune system, making them more susceptible to illnesses, which I’m sure is one of your major goals in life.
“But health issues aside, if you give up drinking you will remove any possible opportunity to lose your license, or even serve time in jail, for driving under the influence. And, you will NEVER be known as one of those individuals who had the privilege of taking an innocent life out of this world as the victim of a drunk driver.
“And I CERTAINLY understand why you would be so vehement about not wanting to give up living a life of promiscuity. I mean, if you do, you PROBABLY won’t contract any STDs such as HPV (Human Papillomavirus), Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, or Trichomoniasis. And, let’s not forget the biggie – – HIV/AIDS. Yep, there is a whole lot of reasons why the rational individual would want to live a promiscuous life!”
As you can see, a Christian’s lifestyle really IS a pretty Pragmatic undertaking.
2. CHRISTIANITY PROMOTES A SAFE SOCIAL LIFE
One of the major cravings each and every one of us has is to attend to the “People Void” that we are created with. We have a need for others, and, quite frankly, for love.
For those who know the Word of God, you know that Love is at the root of Christianity, for God is Love. In fact, Jesus told us the two greatest Commandments of all time are, “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart …. and Love thy neighbor as thyself.” As my good friend Mark McCuen sums it up, “Love God, Love People.”
Now, the Love that we are talking about here may be a foreign concept to much of society today. It has nothing to do with lust, nor infatuation. Rather, it allows us to be Loved for who we are, and is described in I Cor. 13:4-7 – 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
As you can see, if you fellowship with people who use this as the basis of their relationships, it will help you maintain a SAFE SOCIAL LIFE.
3. CHRISTIANITY PROMOTES PRAYER, WHICH IN TURN PROMOTES THE PRODUCTION OF ENDORPHINS
One way of describing endorphins is as “body-made opiates,” because, according to Elizabeth Lombardo in her book, “A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness,” they deliver such intense pleasure. There are a multitude of ways to coax your body into producing endorphins, including, but not limited to:
- Eat Chocolate
- Eat your Favorite Food (For my good friend Marcy, “1” and “2” are the same thing!)
- Laugh out Loud
- Have Sex
- Make Music (Even better than just listening to it!)
- Spritz Lavender Everywhere
Though the reason why is unknown to most clinical scientists, Prayer has the same positive affect on us as all of these other “feel good” activities. Maybe THAT helps explain why so many Christians are happy in the direst of circumstances!
4. IT’S FREE
Now, I know what you are undoubtedly thinking – “Wait a minute, Floyder, every time we go to church they pass the basket so we can give our tithes. I wouldn’t say that giving ten percent is FREE!”
There is a key phrase here that you may not have picked up on – “GIVING ten percent.” You see, the reality is YOU DON’T HAVE TO TITHE to be a Christian. However, if you don’t, don’t be surprised when your fellow Christians are blessed more than you are. And, if you don’t, you will have to answer to God about it. But, YOU DON’T HAVE TO TITHE to be a Christian!
Why, then, do Christians tithe? Well, I’ve given you a couple of reasons, but let’s see what the BIBLE has to say about it:
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 – But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Malachi 3:10 – Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it].
2 Corinthians 9:7 – Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: FOR GOD LOVETH A CHEERFUL GIVER.
Luke 6:38 – Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
You see, the reason Christians give is because they want to, and because they know of the promised Blessings when they do. So, you see, becoming a Christian REALLY IS FREE!
5. IT CAN’T DO ANY HARM!
My first question when someone asks me why they should become a Christian is, “Why shouldn’t you?” Now, you may be thinking that you know A LOT of Christians, and if that’s what it is all about, you want none of it. Well, I understand the reality of that statement, and my take on that is, “There are truck drivers, and then there are people who drive trucks.” You see, just because people SAY they are something doesn’t mean they are. That’s just as true with Christians as it is truck drivers.
In fact, if you don’t like the way some Christians present themselves, YOU should become a Christian so you can’t present Christianity the way it should be presented! Besides, if you become a Christian IT CAN’T DO NO HARM.
And now, one more reason that may not be Pragmatic but certainly is important!
IT CAN PREVENT YOU FROM GOING TO HELL!!!