This week many around the world, believers and non-believers will acknowledge the memory of one of the greatest men who ever lived, Jesus Christ. We seek to draw attention to a few of his sayings that impacts our lives everyday by revisiting a few.
The mention of Jesus’ name turns some off, simply because his name is used to stifle and abuse others. Organized religion is guilty of such in many ways. Rest assured that we are in no way trying to advocate any religious beliefs. Neither is our blog seeking to criticize, but we endeavor to understand, reassess and gain more insight into his words in such a way that it can impact our lives for the better going forward. Take for example, when it comes to money or debt, the majority of people seem to have a par-amnesia, a recurring confusion between illusion and reality about it. For this reason we find the undeniable common sense attached to Jesus’ words worth peering into, and enable us to enjoy meaningful, fulfilling, and more productive lives. His words are simple yet profound and said in such a way that all who is serious would be able to benefit from it. No wonder why India’s leader Mahammad Gandhi while addressing Lord Irwin of England ones said: “When your country and mine shall get together on the teachings laid down by Christ in this Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems not only of our countries but those of the whole world.” For Gandhi to make this remark he must have reflected deeply on the veracity of Jesus’s words spoken almost 2000 years ago; not just casual recitation of it or chanting Hallelujah; but rather he pondered and discerned the meaning behind Jesus’ thoughts, and to distinguish the satisfaction and the resolution it can bring to a person living by it. In this blog we invite you to simply analyze whether or not Jesus word in the Sermon on the Mount is still applicable to us today.
In his sermon he discussed many subject matters regarding daily life. Subjects such as how to keep our life free from anxiety, stress, from the love of money and material things; he said: “Even when a person has abundance, his life does not result from the things he possesses.” And also “The lamp of the body is the eye. If, then, your eye is focused, your whole body will be bright. But if your eye is envious, your whole body will be dark. If the light that is in you is really darkness, how great that darkness is!
What does these words mean? And is there any truth to these words today?
While not endorsing asceticism, or extreme self-denial, Jesus taught that life and genuine happiness come to those who maintain a Simple Life. He considered our eyes to be a pathway to our heart where all deep desires for things stem from. In short, Jesus was saying if we can control what our eye sees and wants, we can be happy. Today the deceptive power of advertising and marketing plays right into what we see and continues to create in us a relentless desire to own and to showcase the things we possess. Most of the time we go through lengths to get it, often with the wrong mindset, that of impressing others. The mentality that I have to have it; because so and so has it. In the end it only leads to more stress, and paying back of unnecessary debt sometimes with high interest rates. Unfortunately, millions continue to look to money and material things for happiness.
On the flip side those who put into practice Jesus’ word find out that life with less stuff is really where true freedom lies. As minimalists.com puts it this way: “having the minimum is a tool that can assist finding freedom; Freedom from fear, Freedom from worry, Freedom from overwhelm, Freedom from guilt, Freedom from depression, Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around, Real freedom.” And the quote continues: “That doesn’t mean there’s anything inherently wrong with owning material possessions. Today’s problem seems to be connected to the meaning we assign to the things we own. We tend to give too much meaning to our possession, while often forsaking our health, our relationships, our passions, our personal growth, and our desire to contribute beyond ourselves…etc.”
The happiness attached to things is elusive and deranging to one’s being. Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades says: “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed, but only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.” So rather than spending our limited income on things such as cellphone, headphone, shoes, cars, we will be better off keeping life simple; free from unnecessary debts.
There is no doubt life has become expensive and trying to live above ones means can only exacerbate the situation. We can succeed in achieving a happy and meaningful life if we resolved to keep a SIMPLE LIFESTYLE.
Serious consideration of Jesus’s words yields some of the following benefits:
- Undue anxieties of unnecessary debts
- Avoiding much mental and emotional pain
- Contentment with having life’s necessities
- Have more time for family and friends
- Better able to help others
- Being able to travel without being tied down
- Better sleep
It has been proven time and time again that this type of life is attainable only if we are serious about it.