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6 ways to be serious about your faith but lighten up about life
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Just because you have a strong testimony in a greater being does not mean you are a stick in the mud. You can still have fun, be respectful and easygoing about life. Here are some ways to do just that. - photo by Megan Shauri
Just because you are religious doesn't mean you have to be constantly serious. There are ways to still be a good member of your congregation, while being a good-natured member of your community. Here are some examples.

1. Live your religion

The number one thing you can do to be faithful in your religion is to live it. I am not aware of any religion that tells us to think of ourselves as better than others not of our faith, to be disrespectful or mean, or to judge and attack others. On the contrary; we are told to love one another, to be kind to our neighbors and to serve our friends. Living what you are taught in church is the best way to honor your religion. It helps us be the best type of person that others can appreciate without even knowing what church you belong to. It is not necessary to precede every action by first explaining what religion you are.

2. Respect others

Some people feel that people who are super religious only respect those of the same religion. Prove these people wrong. Respect everyone. Be open to talking about what you believe, but dont close up as soon as someone else shares their ideals. Be respectful and treat them as you would hope they treat you as you share your beliefs.

3. Be open to new ideas, cultures and people

Again most, if not all religions, preach that whatever Deity they believe in is color blind. They do not care if you are black, white, brown, male, female, old, young, rich, poor, American, Chinese, Latino or European; they just love you for who you are. Be open to learning about new ideas, people and cultures. Love people for their good parts and try and see how your own life can change for the better by observing others. Just because someone believes something different from what you do does not mean they have nothing to teach you.

4. Be happy

One way to be serious about your religion, yet light about life, is to be happy. You may have trials and tribulations, but a positive outlook can change how you view your situation. Just because something negative is happening to you does not give you the right to blame your unhappiness on your religion or even the actions of others. Take responsibility for your own happiness. Find the good in every situation and remember even when you are at your lowest point, there is still hope and someone there who loves you and will never leave you.

5. Dont preach all the time

At times it is tempting to turn every situation into a sermon. This can get annoying to your friends who do not share your beliefs. Sometimes a friend just needs you to be a friend and not a spiritual adviser. This does not mean you have to check your religion at the door and never let it influence the advice you give, but rather it means that you can be friends with someone without the need to convert them to your religion.

6. Dont isolate yourself from others

It is easy to only socialize with people of your same religion. Lots of congregations have their own activities, celebrations and groups that get together on a regular bases. It is simple to stay within this circle and not make friends with others, but that is only limiting yourself. You could be missing out on some great friendships if you do not venture outside of your religion. Dont think that those who do not share your religion cannot be friends with you, even if you tend to disagree about religion. It can be a topic you do not bring up, or something you can agree to disagree about. If you cherish the person, focus on what you do have in common rather than what you dont.

Your religion is often times a big part of your life. It influences your actions, attitude and outlook on trials you may face, but it should not limit you from experiencing life. By making new friends, traveling, learning about other cultures and religions, and living what you are taught are ways to confirm your own believes.
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