We cannot force people to change their minds. All we can do is plant seed in order that they may become self sufficient in their own spiritual walk. Giving the individual the responsibility for their own spiritual growth is the key to their success.
I am not talking conceit, nor am I referring to narcissism. I am talking about allowing one's self to be loved and understanding that we are indeed worthy of God's love.
Once we overcome this hurdle our spiritual awakening can begin, and we can then begin to understand not only what walking in Love means, but truly knowing what God's Love is in our souls.
Before I go any further I must first preface what it is I want to explain here.
I am in no way denouncing Christianity, nor the teachings of the Christ. Although my spirit walk is not Christian, I in no way feel that my spiritual beliefs are the ultimate answer to spiritual matters. My walk is mine, your walk is yours, no matter how we may differ, in some regards we can agree to disagree but yet live in harmony. I am using Christianity here only as an example, but I refer to all organized religions.
Most religions are fear based. In my humble opinion this is due to man's influences not Gods. Fear is taught to people as a means to keep them inline and to control them, or produce certain out comes in societies. Fear has been used for hundreds of years by not only religious leaders but by political leaders as well. Because of this indoctrination we are afraid of God, and instead of coming to God in Love we come to God afraid of what might happen if we do not. This is not proper spiritual living. God cannot reside where fear exists. For God is Love.
Most people have been taught that their only way to achieve spiritual enlightenment is through the words and certain teachings of other people. This is where religious and spiritual people separate. If religion were taught properly, people would not have the need for constant supervision to make sure that they are following certain doctrines according to someone else's beliefs. I believe that if a person learns to know and understand God's Love, they can indeed be self sufficient. Their only need would be then to unite with other like minded believers for praise and or fellowship.
True spiritual enlightenment comes from God's Love, not man-made doctrines. If the people of this world were united in God's Love instead of religious doctrines, we could overcome all the evil there is to overcome. And in order for other people to see that God does indeed dwell with our hearts, they must first see the example we live by walking every day in LOVE.
A good daily exercise for a person is to get up every morning and look yourself in the eye in a mirror and say, "You're a good person (your name here), I love you and God loves you". Sounds silly? You try this every day for a month and you will see the transformation. Then feel the transformation. And then live the transformation.
Before we can minister or counsel anyone else we must first minister and counsel to ourselves. Most people can spot a fraud in a heartbeat. If you do not feel the love for yourself in your own heart and soul, you can never sow the seed in others for them to begin their transformation they need.
Self loathing is the poison of self destruction. I have been a law enforcement officer for almost 24 years now. I have seen countless acts of violence, abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction and the pain it all inflicts. The most common thread that runs through the entire network is most people do not like themselves. Every alcoholic, every drug addict, I have had the chance to talk with has said the same thing, "I hate myself." And therein lies the root of their most debilitating circumstance. In my own life I have had to re-evaluate myself outlook. I too have had to overcome years of self loathing brought on by childhood trauma, and later in life self inflicted abuse. To take a deep look within ourselves is a scary thought. To actually do so is, to say the least, a journey into the unknown.
We often have no trouble pointing out where others fall short, but to hold that mirror of self reflection in front of ourselves is often something we will not do. To dissect our own ego so that we might overcome the good the bad and the ugly of it all is a trek into becoming more self-aware. And this allows us to overcome not only our own self imposed fears but those fears imposed upon us by others. Because we have for so many years walked in fear we become comfortable in its presence. Its fetters have often become too familiar and too comfortable. And being creatures that hate change; changing our outlook to one of LOVE is not something that will happen overnight. We did not develop this mind set over night so changing will take time. But it can be changed. We cannot depend on others to change it for us. There is no potion, or magic wand to wave and make it change. It takes a desire within our souls to change, and then the daily practice of claiming what has always meant to be ours in God. - Matt Allen