Religion Sucks, But God Doesn’t (#NovemberReadingList)

I spent the better part of this week reading as much as I could. One of the self-care articles that I resonated with lately talked about the importance of reading for slowing down, but to also increase our mind’s processing and strengths. I know that I’ve really been lacking in the reading department—of course I read so much every day for work—but that’s not for fun or pure enjoyment. A goal I have (espeically with the holidays coming up) is to simply set aside time to read. (And do nothing else haha).

This is November Reading List Week 2: A collection of introspective articles on faith, self-love, breakups, and empowerment. Want to catch up on past weeks? click here. Want to leave your thoughts? Comment below.

1. This article on Christianity perfectly sums up everything I believe about religion vs. Jesus.

I have yet to come across such a beautifully articulated, strong stance on why people still believe in Jesus in such a broken world until I came across this piece by Benjamin Sledge. As someone who believes, but struggles, I’ve always found it hard to explain (or rationalize) the crappy behavior of Christians. This piece talks about it beautifully.

“Because I know I’m a train wreck in a dumpster fire. But I also know that God loves me 100% as is, right now, in the midst of the burning carnage that is often my life. I know that if I were to stack up my cards against most church people, I’d fold every time. I’m not that good at following rules, and I run my mouth a lot. And yet, God loves me and is cheering for me as I get better and especially when I fall down. Where I see failure, he sees opportunity for growth. Where I see addiction, he sees an opportunity to take a step. Where I’ve given up, he whispers, “You can make it”.

So maybe if we can all accept the idea that God’s love is wholly separate from our actions, receive it, and give it to others maybe then we’d have more Christians that look like Christ. Christians that don’t feel it’s important to beat people down with their theology and doctrine, but instead spend their lives in the gutter bleeding alongside other people.

I think maybe then, we might just see Christ’s kingdom here on earth.”

2. Thank You, Next. This article talks about the empowering message of Ariana Grande’s latest single.

It’s no lie that everyone has been listening to Ari’s latest single. And why not? It’s catchy, it’s strong, and perhaps the best part? It’s not a classic bye-boy-diss-track. Instead, she shares her lessons learned and how she’s shifted away from romantic love and into self-love.

This article describes it perfectly: “Grande delivers one of the very few pop songs to actually promote real, true self-love. It’s the kind of self-love that truly comes from within as opposed to the kind that wallows in the failures and sadness of others. It’s a self-love that must be earned on your own, from accepting pain, heartbreaks, and regret as part of the journey while also owning your history as a fact, not a choice.

…’Thank U, Next’ is a balm and a sticky note reminder on the heart that sometimes it’s not about life getting better; it’s about wanting to better yourself.”

3. This simple, yet earth-shattering statement about the #MeToo movement.

The #MeToo movement has struck many people to the core. I’ve found myself in quite a few strong (and difficult) conversations with loved ones about this, but I think, at the core of understanding one another (and especially understanding women) is teaching the men around us what it means to actually stand behind this movement. For example, as this article says:

“Those who claim the #MeToo Movement has gone too far, that it’s morphed into a witch hunt, are focusing on the wrong aspects of sexual abuse. The #MeToo Movement has one simple aim: Make the world safer for women by ensuring women are free from sexual harassment, abuse, assault, and rape. This goal can’t go’“too far.'”

4. I love this little piece on how sharing clothes is a form of female intimacy.

Honestly, I never though thought of it that way, but it’s truly beautiful (even if it is a little silly). Sharing clothes is a way of sharing love, but more importantly, trust.

I love how this article explained it: “This hodgepodge of shuffled clothing is less about possession and more about intimacy. Like the power of physical touch between friends and loved ones, being outfitted in their clothing or wearing their most cherished accessories is a form of comforting love, too.”
 

Featured Image Credit: Alessandro Vallainc