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Why Does it Seem Like Nonbelievers Have it Easier?

  • Nick Vujicic Motivational Speaker
Why Does it Seem Like Nonbelievers Have it Easier?

Why is it that some atheists and nonbelievers seem to be better and more successful people than some Christians? Why would God allow that?

I don’t agree that they are better and more successful people, but it’s a frequent statement. Atheists and nonbelievers will often offer examples of Christians they’ve known who turned out to be hypocrites or even criminals who didn’t live according to God’s commandments. At the same time they will point to atheists or agnostics who live exemplary lives and seem to be blessed in every way.

They will ask, “Why is it better to be a Christian if it doesn’t guarantee you are a better and happier person?”

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Happiness is... related to how well connected we are to other people.

Happiness is... related to how well connected we are to other people.

I do know of many people with or without religions who claim they’re absolutely happy and successful. There have also been many studies that found that highly religious people visit family, volunteer, and make donations more often than less religious people. Critics of the study counter that it was flawed because it didn’t include people who aren’t religious at all. They contend that happiness is more often related to how well connected we are to other people and the world around us.

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Actually... they are looking for eternal salvation and a relationship with God.

Actually... they are looking for eternal salvation and a relationship with God.

Actually, I think this and similar surveys miss the point. Christians are not seeking happiness in practicing their faith. They are looking for eternal salvation and a relationship with God that gives them strength, peace, and love. Without my strength in my walk with Jesus and my focus on His plan and the view of eternal life, it would be easy to be happy, sad, and depressed, then happy again based on what happens to me in this life. In contrast, when my joy is in God, others see that my circumstances, even extreme ones, are not taking away my peace and that my strength and faith remain.

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I am a Christian because I follow Jesus Christ.

I am a Christian because I follow Jesus Christ.

I am not a Christian because of other Christians and their example. I am a Christian because I follow Jesus Christ—because of who He is and what He did in sacrificing His life for my sins, and yours. He took on the devil face to face and won. To my knowledge, no one else has done that. Jesus is the one who conquered sin and death by being absolutely God in the flesh.

My goal is to follow His example and bring as many as I can with me on that path to heaven. I can’t guarantee they will all make it. I can’t guarantee that all people who claim to be Christian will make it either. We all have our own battles with sin and temptation, and our ultimate measure of success and happiness is whether we enjoy life everlasting by God’s side. 

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Our ultimate measure of success and happiness is...

Our ultimate measure of success and happiness is...

This is the argument from people suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out). But what are they really missing by welcoming Jesus Christ into their lives? The response I get to that question is usually something along the lines of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Others will say porn and alcohol or going to strip clubs.

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Why would I want to be a Christian? They don’t have nearly as much fun!

Why would I want to be a Christian? They don’t have nearly as much fun!

Those earthly pursuits may deliver short-term pleasure for some, but I would argue that being a Christian offers far more in the way of long-term pleasure and happiness, not to mention eternal joy. I will concede there are some Christian denominations that can make life feel like a long, hard slog, but I also know many Christians who are happy and even joyful people without partaking in porn, strip clubs, drugs, or other vices. In fact, this applies to nearly all my Christian family members and friends. We party as hard as any group I’ve known, but without abusing drugs or alcohol, and we love music of all kinds. So I have no fear of missing out on anything enjoyed by nonbelievers. My Christian friends and family members understand that having a relationship with Jesus Christ is better than any earthly pleasure. 

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Being a Christian offers far more.

Being a Christian offers far more.

Some nonbelievers argue that having sex before and outside marriage is a pleasure that Christians typically miss out on. My response is that when you have sex outside marriage, you are toying with fire. When you have sex with someone, you join as one whether you acknowledge that or not. Outside marriage, love and true commitment are not part of the deal, and as a result someone is bound to get hurt—and it’s usually the person whose heart is the most vulnerable.

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Toying with fire.

Toying with fire.

Repeated sex outside marriage eventually numbs the spirit and the soul. I’ve had married nonbelievers tell me that their so-called open marriages allow them to have sex with anyone and, they say, it works for them. Yet most of them seem to end up divorced and lonely, from what I’ve observed.

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They say it works for them. Yet...

They say it works for them. Yet...

Sex outside of marriage is a sin, and there are multiple scriptures on this topic. God is not a God of rules and regulations. He is the designer of everything we see and feel. Life is about using what He designed for His purposes and within His parameters so that we experience joy, fulfillment, and love.

Sex is not love itself, but it is an expression of love and sacred intimacy. Couples in marriage can enjoy each other’s love and experience life as God intended. Sex is not bad in itself, but the perception has been twisted by the Enemy and turned into a lustful path to destruction.

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Life is about using what He designed for His purposes.

Life is about using what He designed for His purposes.

I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but as a Christian who has a personal relationship with God, I believe walking with Him each day is the deepest thrill of all. Nothing else in this world can equate to the peace and joy found in a relationship with God. It’s the very reason we believe in Christian teachings. We know that nothing else can ever satisfy our thirsty souls for tangible hope, peace, and love—certainly not anything that is temporary or fabricated.

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An even greater joy.

An even greater joy.

When I ask atheists to describe what makes them joyful, they often say living life to the fullest or experiencing new places, people, and things like luxury cars, boats, and other toys for grown-ups. Some say their greatest joy is having children and grandchildren, which I can certainly understand.

I bask in the happiness of life with my wife and my children, but true joy is knowing that my children are God’s children too, and He will always look after them. An even greater joy each day for me is knowing that I’m closer to going home to be with Jesus, and that I will never die. Until then, I am His ambassador surrounded by angels and filled with His Holy Spirit.

Excerpted from BE THE HANDS AND FEET: LIVING OUT GOD’S LOVE FOR ALL HIS CHILDREN. Copyright © 2018 by Nick Vujicic. Published by WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Nick Vujicic, born without limbs has shared the Gospel in 68 countries before eight million people. He’s the bestselling author of six books including “Be the Hands and Feet: Living Out God’s Love for All His Children” and the director of the nonprofit Life Without Limbs. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Kanae, and their four children. For more information, visit lifewithoutlimbs.org and at nickvujicic.com.

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