This morning I was in the breakfast room of the small hotel in Indiana we are staying at and I struck up a conversation with a hotel employee. Now those of you that know me well, know that me striking up a conversation with a stranger is nothing new. My “mantra” is “there are not strangers in this world, just friends I haven’t met yet.” I use the word “mantra” for a reason. This lady is from India and she is Hindu. “Mantras” are one of the many facets of the Hindu faith. I asked her lots of questions about where she lived in India, what her language was, if she was a Hindu and how long she has been in the USA. The more I talked to her, the more questions I had. But my biggest question was this…Why did the words Hindi and Hindu come up so many times in this conversation?
First of all, the main language of India is “Hindu”. Each “state” has their own language I was told but everyone learned “hindu” in school along with the language of their particular state and English. I found this particularly interesting as I was under the impression that Hindu was just another world religion.
Then I asked her if she was a Hindu and if she practiced it here in the USA and she told me she hadn’t “studied” it much at all since she had been here. That really had my curiosity going. What did it mean to “study” Hindu? We study the bible but do we study Christianity?
The more I talked to her I realized that Hindu was not just a world religion, it was a way of life. And when I got back to my room, I started researching Hindu and India online. Now, the internet is an amazing tool but after researching Hindu, I realized that I wasn’t going to get the “pat” answer I was looking for. Even the word “India” is the old Persian word for “Hindus”. Hindus have a way of eating, praying, worshiping and living that is centralized around the chart they have chosen. I had emailed a friend of mine that has been teaching Indian pastors and asked how the Hindu faith worked and he said that to them “all paths lead to heaven”. They have many charts, some of which are Mohammed, Krishna, Buddha, Jesus,etc. So upon further review I found that they study their charted path to find out just how they should live their lives.
Now I know that Jesus is the ONLY path to heaven. I have been studying God’s Word since I became a believer but I sometimes have to question (and this is the Holy Spirit convicting me I’m sure) whether I am studying the Word for knowledge or am I studying the Word to learn a way of life? A way to live my life FOR Jesus, pleasing TO Jesus and in WORSHIP OF Jesus. If I am studying for knowledge, is this not just another form of religion?
So where is this all going? Well to me this says that I need to take a lesson from my Hindu friend today. Since I know my path is through Jesus Christ alone, I need to make my Christianity a way of life, not just something I study. My language must be of God. My treatment of my body must be of God. My love for others must be from God and my way of life must be pleasing to God. Will I sin and will I falter? ABSOLUTELY! I will sin and falter until the day of my earthly death when I will be lifted up to heaven to worship Him Who Saved Me by His death on the cross every minute of every day. But until that day…I will live for Jesus! Amen to that!