Inconsistencies in faith and practice
Another thing I quickly noticed, was that my family was particularly more spiritual than most. Not that I thought we were better, but we held the Bible to a more literal standard and had a stricter moral code than most if not all other Christians I knew. Not that this was bad, but it would hold that the more spiritual one is the more Godly they would act right?
Certain virtues such as kindness, patience, self-control, and empathy seemed to be well spoken of. And yet these virtues were oddly lacking among the ones who so strongly supported them. Was it that there were just so many rules to follow that these got left to the wayside? And yet these seemed to be core virtues for any human, how could they be exchanged for more subjective rules and regulations such as music, television, or friends?
I remember numerous times saying to myself even at an early age, “if Christianity is represented accurately by the way that my parent’s live their lives, I have no desire to ever be a Christian”. Now understand that I believed I already was a Christian. And I didn’t have naive notions of perfections in the Christian life either. So I wasn’t saying that I truly didn’t want to be a Christian. But from what I saw from the Bible we read, there should be a clear change of heart in Christians, and despite rule following and outward morality, this heart change was not always clear. Particularly of those who championed it most!
I think the answer goes back to fear. When you are living a life of fear, fear that your family will fall apart, that your son won’t love God enough, that the world will lead you astray, you aren’t able to focus on the simple concepts of life such as being nice and empathetic.
I notice this same concept when I’m in a hurry. I forget to smile at the cashier and say thank you. Not because I’m a bad person or unkind at heart. But my mind is so preoccupied with other things that there is no room left for simple kindness.