“For me, this story is inspiring because it means that, through our own effort, the peaceful contentment we see in statues of the Buddha is within the reach of all of us.” ~Toni Bernhard
This quote came up in my Facebook feed this morning. The story that is being referred to is that of the ‘Buddha’. Most of know this story, but if not, it isn’t hard to do a quick internet search to find out more about his story.
I’ve been discussing over the last several months with a few of my friends and co-workers the similarities and differences between some of the eastern religions in general, buddhism in particular, and Christianity. I think the above quote is the key to understanding the differences.
The difference between Christianity and every other major religion is this. They are about what we do or our effort…Christianity is about what Christ has done, and is doing. How some people find comfort in the fact that the state of their souls rests in their own effort I’ll never know. Granted, some people have tried to turn Christianity into this type of religion, but it simply is not that. More effort does not equal more holiness…If Christ is yours, you are His, you are holy. Period. This knowledge and His Spirit will change you into His likeness.
There are many beautiful concepts in other religions…I would even say there are things we can learn from the adherents of these faiths.
The fact is though, there is no comfort in the fact that through our own effort we can attain peace nor contentment. This is not a fact. This is a falsehood. The truth is that God Himself did what we could never do, and attained peace for us. Contentment only comes through Christ. Only in Christ is the life of God within reach. It is through our getting to know Him that we can be comforted.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus the Christ, The Sermon on the Mount.