Jesus is Not Your Conscience, Your Mind, or the Reason Good Things Happen

Jesus as a shepard
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
- Matthew 7:7

They want us to talk about Jesus. I haven't seen any of the ads yet, but I have read about them and how we non-believers are their targets. They think we don't know enough about him. So what do you say? Let's talk about Jesus!

Many Christians claim that Jesus provides them with comfort, inspiration, and guidance. He doesn't, though the idea of him might...well...sort of.

If we assume that a historical Jesus lived, we can be certain that he died a long time ago. How do we know this? Because we are familiar with human lifespans. But what about his resurrection? That's a story and nothing more. Dead humans do not come back to life. Jesus isn't communicating with Christians, and nobody has a personal relationship with him.

Then who has been comforting and guiding Christians? They have. It is time they learn how to give themselves credit for what they have been doing all along. After all, they deserve it.

Ever notice how what Christians claim Jesus tells them falls into one of two categories? The first category consists of Jesus guiding them to do things they already want to do. It is obvious what is happening here, isn't it? Their Jesus fantasies are a means of justifying their desires.

The second category involves Jesus guiding them to do things they believe they should do but find difficult. It seems like Jesus is being a bit more useful here. Of course, this is what those of us without imaginary friends would refer to as having a conscience. Christians have one too even if many would prefer to personify theirs and call it Jesus.

Jesus not your conscience, and he's not your mind either. When Christians talk about how they are going to "pray on" something, this is what the rest of us refer to as thought. When faced with a difficult issue, we take our time to think about it. So does the Christian. The only difference is that they insist on calling it prayer and invoking supernatural agents. I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, Christians, but that voice you hear in your head is yours. It isn't Jesus.

Besides not being your conscience or your mind, there's something else Jesus isn't. He's not responsible for the good things you do. Some Christians are terrified of feeling any sort of pride because they have been told that pride is sinful by those wanting to control them. And yet, there is nothing wrong with feeling some pride in one's accomplishments. When you do something well, you should feel proud. You have earned the feeling of pride through your behavior.

So Jesus isn't your conscience, your mind, or the reason you do good things. What else? He's also not the reason good things sometimes happen to you. Good things will sometimes happen, and no Jesus is necessary. It may be chance, and it may be that positive things happen through the efforts of others. Can you imagine how insulting it is to give Jesus credit for something someone else has done for you?

How can I know any of this? You know it too if you are honest with yourself. You are much smarter and more capable than you give yourself credit for being. You know that dead people don't come back to life. You know that someone who may or may not have lived thousands of years ago isn't your special friend. You know that the voice you often hear inside your head is your own. You may have been taught to believe that Jesus was pulling the strings, but you have your doubts. It is time to explore those doubts.

If you do so, you may discover that your idea of Jesus isn't necessary. It is not difficult to understand the appeal of having someone looking out for you. Most of us would find that reassuring, but it is fantasy. Accepting reality and living in accordance with it has advantages too. You may discover that you don't need to conjure a Jesus at all. You may be all you need, and that's empowering.

This post from 2015 was revised and expanded in 2022.