LIVING A LIFE TO PLEASE GOD
ON THE WAY TO HEAVEN
Buddha experienced both extremes, from luxury to extreme sacrifice and purity. He decided that it was wisest to live "the middle way". I think God might like that idea, to take care of oneself so that one is happy yet contribute well to one's fellow man instead of going too far and indulging in idle low value activities.
But quite a few religious people have taken things too far, over to the guilt side, over to the sacrificing self and not valuing oneself sufficiently. (Self-Sacrifice)
As opposed to others out there in our current society, religious people tend to lean the other way, to not giving sufficient value to ourselves, to feeling guilty.
What should a person do to please God and still value oneself?
Certainly one wants to please God as he is the final judge of it all.
But are we assuming and believing some things about God that are biased through the lens of mankind and accepting those at face value?
Wouldn't it be appropriate to use the God-given power to establish facts and use logic to make our decisions about what makes sense?
And, once we are clear and have used critical thinking, isn't it appropriate then and only then to decide what is right and correct?
If you were the "supreme parent" would you be harsh and mean to your children who knew no better?
Would you be punitive or would you be compassionate and understanding and supportive? (See Is God Compassionate? - and then decide what makes sense.)
Would a compassionate God want us to be miserable on this earth so that we can try for higher place in Heaven? Is it worth it to be miserable on earth or isn't there some middle way that is good and moral but not miserable that God would prefer for you?
Yes, you could try to get to be at such a high level that he would give you a world to run and maybe then you might be happy. But do you have to be miserable on earth to do that? Isn't it enough just to be in heaven? Isn't that a good place?
As any parent would do, wouldn't God just be attempting to give you guidelines to a better life but not expect perfection and no human frailties?
Does God demand Self-Sacrifice or does he ask for you to take full care of your well-being?
Isn't what he is asking for is that you do not do low value self indulgent things and instead do high value contribution? Wouldn't he accept your doing high value things for yourself such as self-renewal leisure time, recovery, and self care?
In retirement, isn't 20 hours a week of service good enough? (Isn't it far more than most anyone does?)
Aren't those people who work too hard in contributing to others that they fail to take care of themselves and their loved ones actually sinning against themselves?
Would God want you to be run by guilt (which was designed to prevent the extremes, but not for little things)?
Run by angst?
Overdoing it in life and in contribution such that you dishonored yourself and your relationship?
Run by perfection, by the excess of it?
Would he want you to have an imbalance life?
Did God not want you to be happy in this life? (Who sez otherwise? And with what authority?
SO, PLEASE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS FOR YOURSELF
Is it ok to make sure you live a balanced life where you fully take care of your emotional well-being and health first?
Are you valuable, at least as valuable as others? Did God design us to assure our own survival above all others, as we evolved to be that way? Therefore, aren't we (and our close loved ones) more important to us than those further away from us? (We did evolve that way.)
If you give to strangers in great contribution, but neglect your close relationships, do you think that is right?
Can you give a high value to yourself and to making your loved one, above the value of contributing out there in the world?