7 Christian teachings that might be steering your life

Christian teachings can have a profound influence on how we navigate life’s ups and downs. They’re not just rules or doctrines; they’re guideposts that can shape our actions, decisions, and perspectives.

But it’s crucial to remember we have the freedom of choice. Christianity, for me, is not about blind obedience but conscious decisions based on faith.

In the following article, I’ll highlight seven Christian teachings that might be subtly steering your life. They’re not constraints but empowering principles that could guide you towards a more meaningful life.

In the spirit of conversation, I’ll keep things simple and informal. So sit back, relax, and let’s explore these teachings together.

1) The golden rule

Arguably, there isn’t a Christian teaching more influential than the Golden Rule.

This rule, as stated in Matthew 7:12, instructs us to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Simple, yet powerful.

This teaching might be steering your life more than you realize. It’s the principle behind our decisions to help, to be kind, and to consider how our actions affect others.

In essence, it’s a guide to empathy. We naturally tend to make decisions based on what we want or need. But the Golden Rule prompts us to consider the feelings and needs of others too.

Whether it’s choosing to offer your seat on a crowded bus or deciding not to gossip about a colleague, this teaching subtly influences our daily interactions.

Remember, it’s not about compulsion but conscious choice. Choose to treat others with kindness and respect because it’s right, not because you feel obligated. It’s not about manipulation; it’s about genuine compassion.

2) Forgiveness is freedom

Another Christian teaching that has significantly influenced my life is the concept of forgiveness.

The teaching of forgiveness is central to Christianity, emphasized in verses like Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

I remember a time when I was deeply hurt by a friend’s actions. I felt betrayed and angry. The hurt was so deep that I couldn’t see past it. But then, I remembered this teaching about forgiveness.

At first, it was challenging to let go of the anger and the desire for retribution. But as I chose to forgive, I found a sense of peace and freedom that surprised me.

Forgiveness didn’t mean that what my friend did was okay. It didn’t even mean that our relationship went back to normal immediately. But it did free me from the burden of anger and resentment.

This teaching might be steering your life too, encouraging you to release grudges and move forward with peace and grace.

3) The power of prayer

Prayer is a cornerstone of Christian teachings, and its influence in our lives can be profound.

In Thessalonians 5:17, we’re encouraged to “pray without ceasing”. This doesn’t necessarily mean we should be on our knees all day; rather, it encourages us to maintain a constant communication with God, acknowledging His presence in every part of our lives.

It’s fascinating to note that research has shown that prayer can have real, measurable effects on mental and physical health. Studies have found that prayer can lower stress levels, improve self-control, and even enhance cognitive function.

So whether it’s in moments of joy or times of struggle, this Christian teaching might be guiding you towards a deeper connection with God and promoting overall well-being.

4) Love thy neighbor

Among the Christian teachings, “love thy neighbor” is one that resonates deeply and may be subtly steering your life.

This teaching is central to the Christian faith and is found in Mark 12:31 – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. It encourages us to extend compassion, kindness and understanding to those around us.

But who exactly is our neighbor? In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus expanded the definition of ‘neighbor’ to mean not just those who live next to us, or even just those who are like us. Rather, our ‘neighbor’ is anyone we encounter in our journey of life.

This teaching doesn’t just influence our interactions with others. It shapes our perception of humanity and guides us towards empathy and understanding. It reminds us that everyone we meet is deserving of love and respect.

5) Faith over fear

The teaching of faith over fear has been a beacon for me, especially during turbulent times.

In the Bible, we are reminded time and again not to fear. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

There was a period in my life when everything seemed to crumble. My career was in tatters, and my personal life was in turmoil. Fear, anxiety, and uncertainty consumed me. But this teaching became my anchor.

I chose faith over fear. It wasn’t easy, but it was a conscious decision to trust God’s plan over my anxieties. This doesn’t mean the troubles disappeared instantly, but it gave me strength and resilience to weather the storm.

This Christian teaching might be steering your life too, guiding you to choose faith over fear in your own challenges. It’s not about denying reality but embracing the hope and strength that comes with faith.

6) Stewardship of creation

The Christian teaching about stewardship of creation is another principle that could be subtly influencing your life.

Genesis 2:15 states, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” This verse underlines our responsibility to care for the environment, not merely as users but as stewards.

This stewardship extends beyond just the natural world. It also applies to our bodies, talents, time, and resources. It’s about making conscious choices that reflect gratitude and respect for what we’ve been given.

Whether it’s choosing to recycle, volunteering your time, or investing in self-care, this teaching might be guiding your actions and decisions. It’s a reminder that we’re not just inhabitants of this world; we’re caretakers.

7) The gift of grace

The teaching of grace is foundational in Christianity and it could be the most influential principle steering your life.

Grace is God’s unmerited favor towards us. It’s about receiving love and forgiveness that we don’t deserve and can’t earn. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

This understanding of grace can shape our view of ourselves and others. It reminds us that we are loved and valued, not because of what we do or achieve, but simply because we are. It also challenges us to extend this same grace to others, embracing forgiveness and unconditional love.

Living in the light of grace can bring a profound sense of freedom and self-worth. It’s not about striving to earn love or acceptance but resting in the assurance that you are already loved and accepted. And this could be the most empowering teaching of all.

Final Thoughts

The beauty of Christian teachings lies in their profound influence on our lives, guiding our decisions, shaping our attitudes, and transforming our perspectives.

Consider the principle of grace. This core teaching underscores the essence of Christianity – we are loved and accepted not because of what we do, but simply because we are. It’s a powerful reminder of unconditional love and acceptance.

Or think about the concept of stewardship. It encourages us to view ourselves not just as inhabitants but as caretakers of this world. A perspective that can guide our actions towards more sustainable and compassionate choices.

Whether it’s the Golden Rule steering our interactions with others, or faith over fear guiding us through challenging times, these teachings can be instrumental in navigating life.

These insights are not about creating a rigid path, but offering direction. They’re not about imposing rules, but providing guidance.

As you reflect on these teachings, consider how they might be steering your life. Are they influencing your decisions? Are they shaping your attitudes? And most importantly, are they bringing you closer to the person you aspire to be?

Remember, these teachings aren’t just doctrines to follow but principles that can guide us towards a more meaningful life.

Graeme Richards

Graeme Richards

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