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Faith or Fear

Many religions believe that Satan is an external entity that provokes human beings to do bad things. Under Satan’s influence, say some scriptures, we can stray from the Path of God.

Last month, I attended the taping of ABC’s TV show The Nightline Face Off: Does Satan Exist? Dr. Deepak Chopra and Bishop Carlton Pearson were debating Pastor Mark Driscoll and Annie Lobert on the controversial and sensitive question of whether Satan exists.

During the taping, Dr. Chopra argued that Satan is a projection of our own internal fears, while Pastor Driscoll argued that people who do bad things are bad because Satan is influencing them. A view like Pastor Driscoll’s would not only diminish personal responsibility but would also justify shutting away criminals in jails for being “bad people.” He fails to consider that some people have had bad childhoods, or are lonely and depressed, and need help and compassion rather than labels.

It was an interesting debate, and many times I jumped out of my chair to cheer Dr. Chopra. At one point Dr. Chopra asked the pastor, “How do you know if God is a man or a woman?” If our images of God are primarily male, then we will also see men as the superior sex, subconsciously if not consciously. If we believe that we need to please God, then we will also want to please the male figures in our lives since they represent God. However, if we see God as one of us, then we can open ourselves to everyone, man and woman alike, regardless of race. Sue Monk Kidd wrote a wonderful book, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, in which she described her journey from being a Christian woman to becoming a spiritual woman. By answering the call to explore her spirituality, Kidd was able to re-enter the Church from a place of love and self-acceptance. If she hadn’t called out to her spiritual beliefs, she would not have been able to heal her relationship with the Church.

I don’t believe that any of us has to give up our religious faith, but if that faith was imposed on us without choice, then we need to make peace with it. Osama Bin Laden’s former sister-in-law, who lived in Saudi Arabia, wrote a book, Inside the Kingdom, in which she talked about religion being forced rather than chosen. Women under Saudi rule are segregated and kept hidden from men. Men are an unknown land for them, and then they marry only to be treated like a commodity that can easily be replaced. Bin Laden never looked at the face of a woman because he believed his faith did not allow it. When men and women are forced to control their natural impulses in the name of religion, they are deprived of the choices that empower them.

What choices will we make if we follow our natural impulses? The natural human impulse is to love and be loved. What if we pray or go to Church or Mosque because we love God rather than fear God? What choices will we make if we are not afraid of Hell but know instead that Heaven is our birthright? What if we don’t believe in Satan but are willing to embrace our dark side? What choices will we make based on faith rather than fear?

I encourage you to always ask yourself this question before you make a choice: “Am I basing this choice on faith or fear?” The media does a great job of instilling fear in all of us. Its message that we must always look perfect keeps women searching for new diets and exercises. But what if your choice to lose weight came from a place of love instead of fear? What would you do then? What healthcare products would you use? Which exercises would you prefer? Underneath the desire to look good may lurk the fear of rejection. Just imagine what you would do if you did not hold that fear of rejection.

Right now the media is painting a fearful picture of economic recession. If you had faith, could you use this recession as an opportunity to improve your life? Really, there is no recession in North America if we compare ourselves to places in the world where children have no clean drinking water. Is recession an opportunity to claim the whole world as our Earth, to be grateful for what we have? If faith instead of fear were your partner, the loss of your job might give you the opportunity to work for yourself or do something you truly love. Ask yourself, based on faith rather than fear, “What is the lesson in this?”

Zahra is a Professional Coach and Abundance Expert. She works with female creative entrepreneurs to help them market their businesses by taking internally inspired actions. Zahra helps women connect with their inner abundance to create outer results. Zahra believes that women, through their feminine essence, can be truly successful in life and business. Using the principles of Law of Attraction, Zahra teaches women how to get in touch with their passionate inner feminine wisdom and create effortlessly abundant lives. To watch Zahra speak about 'the power of gratitude,' visit www.zahraefan.com. To book a complimentary coaching session give Zahra a call at 604.582.7759 or visit our web at www.zahraefan.com

 

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