“Happy Are Those Conscious of Their Spiritual Need”
How We Can Help to Meet the Needs of Others
... Unless we properly satisfy the need to be in touch with our Creator, we cannot find true and lasting happiness. “Happy are those conscious
of their spiritual need,” Jesus said. (Matthew 5:3) We must be careful, however, to satisfy that need with spiritual truth—facts about God, his
standards, and his purpose for mankind. Where can we find spiritual truth? In the Bible.
“Your Word Is Truth”
The apostle Paul wrote: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight.” (2 Timothy
3:16) Paul’s words harmonize with those of Jesus, who said in prayer to God: “Your word is truth.” Today, we know that Word as the Holy Bible,
and we are wise to check that our beliefs and standards measure up to it.—John 17:17.
By comparing our beliefs with God’s Word, we imitate the people of ancient Beroea, who made sure that Paul’s teachings harmonized with the
Scriptures. Rather than criticize the Beroeans, Luke commended them for their attitude. They “received the word with the greatest eagerness of
mind,” he wrote, “carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) In view of the contradictory
religious and moral teachings that abound today, it is important that we imitate the example of the noble-minded Beroeans.
Another way to identify spiritual truth is to see how it influences people’s lives. (Matthew 7:17) ...
Some Prefer to Have Their “Ears Tickled”
However, people also have a spiritual need. (Matt. 5:3) To help them become aware of that need and take steps to satisfy it, Jesus commissioned
his followers to make disciples. (Matt. 28:19, 20)
Can religion satisfy mankind’s needs?
The major religions in the world have vast numbers of followers and many magnificent churches, cathedrals, synagogues, and temples. Despite all of
this, have these religions taught the truth about God? Have they helped people to lead happier and more meaningful lives? Do their leaders practice
what they preach?
History clearly shows that the Western religions have proved disappointing in these areas. For example, some of the most horrible conflicts and
massacres in history took place in lands professing to be Christian. The Crusades, for example, were launched by the churches of Christendom from the
11th to the 13th century. The wars during this period took innocent lives by the thousands.
In the early 19th century, the churches openly supported many Western powers in the expansion of their empires in less-developed lands and the wanton
exploitation of the resources of their colonial territories. Church and State acted in collusion. Hand in hand, they brought distress and misery to
people in many lands.
In the two world wars of the 20th century, most of the belligerent powers on the opposing sides were Catholic or Protestant nations. Thus, with the
approval of their religious leaders, Catholics killed Catholics and Protestants killed Protestants. In more recent times, the conflict between Roman
Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland resulted in heavy casualties. Leaders of these religions love to talk about peace and brotherhood, and
all of them profess to serve the same God. But in view of the facts, we must ask: Do they really have a genuine love for peace? Do they truly love
their neighbors as themselves?
As regards helping people to gain an accurate knowledge of God, all major religions of the West have failed miserably. Their doctrines are mainly
based on traditional beliefs rather than on the teachings of the Bible. For example, they believe that humans have an immortal soul and that those who
do not serve God will be tormented in a fiery hell forever. Just think! If God were really so cruel and hardhearted, would you want to worship
Clearly, the religions of the West have not brought lasting peace and happiness for mankind, nor have they provided the right spiritual guidance.
What, then, about the religions of the East? In China, for example, the three major religions are Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Have these
religions brought lasting peace and happiness for the Chinese?
In its early stages, Taoism was more a philosophy than a religion. Its founder, Lao-tzu, was dissatisfied with the chaos and turmoil of the times and
sought relief by shunning society and returning to nature. However, as time wore on, Taoism became a system of worship venerating a pantheon of many
gods and goddesses. Taoists practice divination. They attach great importance to omens and feng shui (the reading of the forces of wind and water) as
well as to sundry other rituals. It is clear that Taoism falls short in providing satisfactory answers regarding the meaning of life or in fulfilling
the people’s spiritual needs.
At the outset, Confucianism was a school of ethics and morality based on the teachings of its founder, Confucius. Through the centuries, Confucian
concepts have wielded a strong hold on Chinese culture and way of thinking. Still, being a philosophy of life, Confucianism has neither helped the
Chinese to learn about the Creator nor encouraged them to cultivate a close relationship with him. Although adopting its precepts as rules of conduct
brings certain benefits, Confucianism does not fully satisfy one’s spiritual needs; nor has it brought lasting peace and happiness.
Buddhism first came into China from India. This religion advocates compassion and tolerance, and it has fascinated many by its complicated philosophy.
But has Buddhism helped people to learn about the Sovereign of the universe? Have the teachings of the Buddha satisfied the spiritual needs of
mankind? The book Basics to Buddhism
says: “Buddhists do not believe in an all-powerful divine being in the universe”; “Everyone is
capable of becoming a Buddha”; “Everyone has to work on his own to become a Buddha and be liberated from suffering.” Buddhism has inspired, not
faith in God, but reliance on self.
If a person’s faith is misplaced, how could he ever find the truth that brings real satisfaction? Down through the ages, the Chinese have followed
the tradition of worshipping their ancestors, idols, and the spirits in nature, engrossed in the multitudes of rites and rituals connected with them.
As a result, the concept of a personal God, or Creator, is something foreign to most Chinese. Yet, as discussed earlier, to satisfy our spiritual
needs, we must come to know not only who the Most High God is but also what his purpose for mankind is. By so doing, we will be able to act in harmony
with that purpose and gain lasting happiness.
edit on 26-10-2019 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)