A great deal of our time is spent in fruitless discussion about faith and (insert your particular vice or circumstance). We agonise, deliberate, question, think of some sort of answer and then continue to repeat the process until it is too late or no longer relevant to the original thought.
The internet (the latest institution to offer free and unsolicited advise) is full of ideas as to how to overcome these issues (whether big or small) and what we should do about it.
From my experience and the position I am now sitting it still resonates as BS.
Whatever the institution, at whatever the time in history, the advise has always been to integrate into some sort of “code of ethics” that suits the reigning authority of that particular time.
That the reigning authority changes with evolution and/or revolution and so the advise also changes with the winners of this continuous charade does not help us in this time frame.
Questions do not always have simple answers unless we can re-frame our thoughts as simple questions.
The mantra of “Keep It Simple Simon” makes life so much easier, removing the complexity that always seems to permeate the incessant twaddle of debate.
To simplify the question in the opening paragraph regarding faith and ? .
I now see my life as answering the question of “how my faith and my relationship with God (by whatever name you know Him) would deal with this particular vice or circumstance”.
Simply re-framing my question as one between God and myself removes the power and control of the reigning authority to dictate the terms of what I can and cannot do.
That reigning authority can be anything from parents, local community, friends (the group who supports you), friends (the ones you think support you but do not) through to those who have judicial authority that they claim gives them the right to make you do exactly as they demand.
No one, particularly those with judicial authority, can take away the faith that lives within a person. Your faith can only be God’s Gift to you. It cannot be taken from you.
God’s Gift, the relationship with each and every one of us, can only be given away and discarded if we choose to do so.
So please accept this free and unsolicited advice.
Re-frame your thinking to a simple question of “what does my relationship with God mean in this (insert the vice or circumstance) matter?
All of that wasted verbiage trying to answer complex but irrelevant questions is just that, wasted verbiage.
Blessings to you all