Money, Possessions, People….what do you value?

The Buddhists have what is known as the 4 noble truths.

Why do I bring this up here on a Christian Religious Education Commentary blog?

Because:

– my major in college was The Comparative Study of The Worlds Religions

– I find that by comparing/contrasting  what we know about other Religions, can help bring us closer to our faith.

So Lets Take a minute and look at those 4 noble truths through the eyes of Christian and the pages of the Bible.

1. In Life there is suffering

  • Suffering is mentioned throughout  the bible starting in Genesis and ending in Revelation.
  • Suffering is a fact, we are born, we live, we suffer, we die
  • Jesus suffered
    • as he was betrayed
    • as he was beaten
    • as he died on the cross
  • His Disciples suffered
    • When they left all they had to follow him(even though this was an act of love and trust I’m sure they missed the things they gave up.
    • When they were confused at Jesus’s words at the last supper
    • When Jesus died on the cross
    • When they died spreading the gospel
  • We suffer
    • when we are condemned for our beliefs
    • when we are betrayed
    • when we are ill of body, mind or soul

2. There is cause to our suffering

  • The Buddha does not say that having things/money/possessions inherently is bad but rather that we cling to those things/money/possessions
  • The Bible also affirms this thought, that desiring objects/money, not the objects/money itself is the problem
    • Take a look at these verse from both the old and new testaments

Exodus 3:7

New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings,

Exodus 20:17

New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Deuteronomy 7:25

New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

25 The images of their gods you shall burn with fire. Do not covet the silver or the gold that is on them and take it for yourself, because you could be ensnared by it; for it is abhorrent to the Lord your God.

2 Maccabees 7:32

New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

32 For we are suffering because of our own sins.

1 Timothy 6:10
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

1 Peter 2:21

New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.

1 Timothy 6:10

New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

 

Look, open the bible, you will see it is not the possession of things/money that is bad but the desire for more, the desire for what we don’t have

When we are content with our lives, and what God has given us we do well with what we have

 

When instead  we dwell on

what we don’t have

what we would like to have

then we experience suffering,

brought on by our own desires

when we truly believe in God we make the best of what we have

we are joyful

for when we are fully in God, we are lacking nothing..

3. There is an End to suffering

The Buddha would say our suffering ends when we let go of the things we cling to.

the less you have the less you have to worry about?

With Jesus

  • when we give our lives over to God to Jesus our suffering ends
  • when we love others more than we love ourselves suffering ends
  • when we think more of what is best for the world our suffering ends

That is not to say we will never face obstacles, or illness, denial or grief but that in the light of Christ all these are bearable.

and finally
4. There is a path to the end of suffering
for Buddhists they would work on meditation, on a goal of enlightenment
for Christians
we should pray, read the bible
look inward and check ourselves, our souls, our faith
then
act outward
and be Christ to the people among you
the people you interact with on a daily basis
bring the light of our Father to earth
brighten the lives of those around you
then
and only then
by all of us
being part of the body of Christ
can we bring an end to suffering.
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About ellasurreau

I am a first grade religious education catechist I have been teaching for 20 years I have a BA in Religious Studies I have continued taking classes in religious studies since graduating. I grew up Methodist, and became catholic after marrying.
This entry was posted in bible, christianity, death, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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