I recently followed a young, smart, pretty, PTV4 reporter, host, and actress on Instagram. I didn’t know her before this year until news on her engagement with a young actor and dancer surfaced. I got curious because it took them a decade to finally come to a decision to get married – and personally, I like examples of strong relationships.
Browsing through her IG stories one day, I learned that she is a devout Catholic who loves and prays to Mama Mary. And at this sensitive point in my life where I have just started rekindling my relationship with God, I naturally had a lot of questions. And it’s no surprise, that many have asked this question long before we were born – across all ages and nations.
“Is it okay to pray to Mary?”
If you are a bible believer, and a legit follower of Jesus Christ, you would know that Jesus is the only way to heaven. “No one comes to the Father but through me.” (John 14:6).
But how come, many who adore, believe and pray to Mary – are still happy and blessed with their lives? Are Christians better, “more saved,” more blessed than people who pray the rosary?
I have prayed the rosary when I was younger – because I grew up in a Catholic school. So it didn’t bother me then. But, based on my PERSONAL experience, I wasn’t able to take the repetitive words to heart. So to me, it didn’t really make a huge difference in my life.
But even if we pray to Jesus, but our hearts are far away, it won’t make a huge difference as well.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21)
What do we get in all these?
whether we pray or not, we will live the lives we want.
2. whether we pray to Mary or Jesus, we will live the lives we want.
You know why? Because God allows things to happen. He has seen things before they happened. But He doesn’t stop them. People are given free will by God – because, believe it or not, He loves us very much. He gave us the mind to think on our own.
15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15
What can we get in these part 2?
3. We are given then the truth. But the truth is not for everyone. We can either accept Christ in our lives and let Him lead us. Or we can serve other gods.
4. Ultimately, we should NEVER look at others and judge them. 🙂
7 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matt. 7:1-4)
So I guess, I was wrong to look at people’s IG stories and compare faiths. After all, I am nobody. Not superior nor inferior to others. I don’t know a thing but I continuously ask. Because as the Lord says:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matt. 7:7)
5. If ever, at one point in our lives, we do not feel satisfied, we can always come to Him and ask. Simple as “Lord, am I doing the right thing? Teach me Your ways. Guide my heart”
Ask and take comfort in knowing that you will get answers, as He promised.
6. But, as Christians, we are the salt and light of the world.
Sometimes, people don’t ask anymore. Because either they have found the truth, or are not familiar with the truth. That’s when we can step up. Because as I’ve always believed, if we’re the ones who need help, we would appreciate God’s instruments – special people – who would go out of their way to help us, right?
Also right on this note let me just insert, that I.. personally.. would NOT impose my faith on others. I am against legalistic ways I guess. 🙂 Ultimately, if Mama Mary becomes an instrument for people to come closer to Jesus Christ, then why not? 🙂
But I believe that the bible is very clear – Jesus is the only way to the Father in heaven.
If we just found the truth, the light inside us has just been ignited. And it’s impossible to hide it. If we’ve been touched by God, our hearts become pure. And we find ourselves speaking about the truth every day, in every way.
A Lamp on a Stand
16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. (Luke 8:16)
I guess my way of telling the truth to my son, my husband, my family, and friends is through this blog. I hope one day when people read this, I am able to inspire them to ask. Open their eyes. Jesus Christ is waiting for us to come to Him. Surrender our lives to Him.
7. Speak the truth in love
But as you know, talks on religion have historically ended up in war. That is because we always think we know everything, and undermind the beliefs of others. Also, because we speak the truth as if it were our own. But if we learn to speak humbly, not to impress or to feel great about ourselves but to lift God in our lives, there becomes more room for understanding.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)
I have always suffered from this weakness. Whenever I am angry, I couldn’t control my voice. But God is commanding me to choose a gentler tone in order to achieve a more peaceful discussion. And each time I remember to be gentle, by the power of the Holy Spirit, problems become resolved easily.
15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. (Ephesians 4:15)
The next time we wish to speak the truth to another, be salty-flavorful with a touch of gentleness. 🙂
8. Be respectful and compassionate.
Always look at a person for the blessings they bring into the world.
No hypocrisy here. Every day I ask God to remind me of His ways. I am a struggling Christian. But as Pastor Peter Tan Chi said, let’s always set the GPS of hearts toward Jesus. We may fall, or get lost one too many times, but because we know the right path, we will always come back to it.
*** Photos were all taken from the Internet.