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8 Ways to Live with Faith, Despite the Unspeakable

Updated: Jan 16

The lawyer for the man in the No. 2 spot on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted Nazi war criminals says his client has died at 93. Vladimir Katriuk passed away last week after a long illness, his lawyer Orest Rudzik said Thursday.

Late last year, headlines read, “The colorful cards arrive from all over the globe—each wishing tiny Addie Fausett happy holidays on what is expected to be her final Christmas.” Addie is expected to die of a rare disease. She is 6 years old.

What’s a person of faith supposed to think? Certainly, we’ll hear the usual, “It’s not fair” or “She died way before her time” or “God works in mysterious ways”. But the fact remains, Alois Brunner lived a full life to 93. What about all the innocent men, women, and children whose lives he ripped out from under them? What about Addie?

I have written in my books and blogs that when someone dies, it is never the right time for those who survive them; in cases like Brunner, it was a long time coming. However, for the person who dies, it is exactly the right time. No doubt many will take that as a cruel rationalization. But with the examples I cite, belief in a spiritual existence is tough to explain by our conventional belief systems about God. Does that mean you should abandon your faith? No. Only that perhaps it is time to redirect it from a man-made version to one that is consistent with something greater.

Here are some ways that have helped me do that:

  1. Resist viewing God as a father figure who punishes bad deeds and rewards good ones.

  2. Resist viewing God through the prism of logic and reason, i.e., the physical laws determined by our sensory experience and observations.

  3. Understand that most cruelty and unfairness in the world arises from our primitive, animalistic instincts and has nothing to do with God.

  4. Accept that there are some events that we just can’t explain or justify.

  5. Admit that we really don’t know where we come from, why we are here, or where we will go when we die…and don’t let those unknowns frighten you.

  6. Affirm: “As long as I am alive, I plan to live.”

  7. Embrace the belief that God exists within all of us as our Divine nature and respect this Divinity in yourself and all others.

  8. Living without guilt, regret, blame, worry, or resentment allows you to connect with your Divine nature.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you continue to live and grow, while not allowing the inexplicable, the unspeakable, the unimaginable to put a dent in your faith. Maintaining such faith opens up a new world that will help you embrace life—fearlessly, passionately, and with acceptance.

© Dr. Charles F. Glassman, CoachMD

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