“Church is for weak people,” is a comment we’ve heard unfaithful people say. Yet, we’ve all been in a situation where we are so busy and feeling so hopeless in our lives that we ourselves have stopped going to a church or temple and wondered, “Why go to church anymore…it doesn’t help.”
Or does it?
Well…here are 10 reasons to go to church. Reasons to give yourself, your kids, your husband or some non-believing person on why to go to church each week.
- YOU. Who doesn’t like to think about themselves. ON PURPOSE. At church, you get a whole hour to think about nothing but you, you, you and more you. Your existence on this planet, your partner, your life, what you are doing, where you are going…all under the warm wing in the house of God. Sure you could do this Me-Me-Me at home but you’ll get distracted and if you don’t have a photo of the big man in front of you…you are going to forget he is there. It’s our brains…we are human…we wander in our thoughts. At church when your starts to think about the coffee you booked with Susie next Friday, your brain comes back quickly because you are at church!
- Your word: Going to church once a week, every week, confirms to yourself that you are a person that keeps commitments and your word. That you are capable of saying you are going to do something and then doing it. Keeping a commitment to yourself of doing something once a week, every week at the same time. (let’s pause and think about any time you have said, “I’m going to the gym every day…). There is so much to gain in confidence and personal growth in keeping your word to yourself!
- Family: Going to church makes you feel like part of a family. Something bigger than you are right in your own community. The more you go…the more you meet people and feel comfortable. The Harvard happiness study (80+ years so far) shows people who feel part of a community live happier lives. Don’t you want to be happier?
- Better person: You get a whole hour to reassess your friendships and relationships. Sitting there with God, hearing the pastor, rabbi or priest speak allows you to reflect on your life and who you have in your life and how you can be the best person to others that following week.
- Promises to Self: You get a whole hour to make new promises to yourself. It’s a New Years Day all over again every Sunday. Time to re-evaluate your life and who you are as a person. (The greatest thing about promises you make to yourself during mass is that you only have to make them for a week. Cause next Sunday or whenever you go, you can re-evaluate and keep the old ones or make new ones! Meaning if you screw up one week – cause we are human and we WILL screw up – you get to forgive yourself and then try again. That’s what God wants us to do – see our mistakes, get up and try again. Never give up on your journey to be just like God would hope us to be.)
- Normalcy: You get a whole hour to stare and analyze all the peoples butts in front of you – man and woman – to tell yourself, everyone is human! All different shapes and sizes and colors and mental states. I like to connect with others who I know have had a harder time lately in their life; death, suicide, job loss, etc….I then have a huge opportunity to be a source of comfort and support to them – which many others bail from and run. Then…if I am completely honest, somewhere deep inside, I’m beyond grateful that these pains are not a direct part of my own immediate family.
- Compassion: You begin to understand compassion. Having compassion for moms dealing with crying kids, older people having trouble walking blocking your way, and the guy singing, who didn’t become a music star, but is happy to be part of something where he can use talents he obviously loves.
- Relationships: Betterment of your own relationship. Scanning the crowd, you take note of your relationship status compared to all those around you. You can look around the room and mentally tab out all those cheating, divorcing, on the verge of divorcing or just have issues with relationships.
- We Are Human: Scanning the crowd, you can easily see, every singe person on this planet and in the seats in front of you are not perfect. We are all imperfect people. Everyone is screwed up in some way. We just have different ways of screwing up. This causes you to feel at home and not so pressured to be perfect. You soften, finding ways to like all those people you hated 5 minutes ago in the parking lot for cutting you off.
- Positive Choice: Every choice we make has a consequence. Some positive, some negative. The ‘going to mass’ choice has way more positive consequences than negative. The only negative consequence I’ve ever had is my family mad at me. Why? After church I talk to random people, my family gets annoyed at me that I’m delaying the leave from church longer than they want. To change this annoyance, what are my choices? 1) go to church in my own car? Nope…goes against this being family time and the drive to and from is prime connecting time. 2) Shut my mouth and go straight to the car. Nope… that is hard, as I get excited to connect with others and want them to know I love them and care. 3) Include my family in my discussions with others. Yes! Don’t we all want to feel included? When you include others, they learn and see what is happening and feel important.
When you go to church, and go often, you understand and realize with God, no matter where you go or what you do, you are never alone.
People fight to the death over religion in other countries. Here in California – we could give a crap what the guy next door believes as long as he believes in not making too much noise or extending his TV and living room out on his front lawn.
I personally do not care what religion you are or what you believe. I only hope is that you figure out something to believe in.
Jesus, Buddha or Yoga? When you really think about it….all religions are the same! Every religion believes in a higher power…God. Every religion leads to one thing: God. One guy. Or whatever you call him.Whether or not you believe in any of them, we can all agree most religions are there to help us all be better people and at the end of the day, what is wrong with that? It’s just how you practice what Jesus, Buddha and the other guys have taught.
I’m Catholic. I was “born” into a family that way, went to Catholic schools and public schools and made up my mind years ago that I like some things about many religions. I go to a Catholic Church now but really adapt myself to anything spiritual…because it all leads to the same place.
And yes, I go to church every week. Or I try to. Any excuse I have to not go (besides the fact I may be working) is just lazy.
Find your place. Find your passion. If it makes you a better person, why would you not?