Spiritual Awakening, Growth, and Enlightenment/Doing good deeds


I want to get closer to God and do good deeds my whole life. I do not mind working as a counselor or serving the children in an orphanage by teaching them for free.
I have been betrayed by the love of my life and I see no point going back to him, in spite of being in love with him,
I just want to impress God, so he gives me whatever I wanted after my death.
Please tell me how to make God proud of me.

ANSWER: Hi Anne. I am so sorry for your loss of your loved one. You sound like you are going through a period of grief, even though the person is still alive. His betrayal may be even harder to accept than if he had actually passed away.

I find it curious however that you link this event to your desire to serve God. Didn't you want to serve God before this betrayal? If not, is it possible you are trying to use God as an escape from your pain? Just something to consider....

In any case, I am pretty sure the best thing you can do is find healing for yourself first so you have a whole and healthy person to offer when you go to help others. Moreover, I think the best way to make sure your God is proud of you is to act in such a way that you can be proud of yourself.

Do you have the training and credentials to serve as a counselor? If not, perhaps you should enroll in classes so you can get that training. Having the goal of working toward those credentials should take enough of your energy that it may help you heal from your pain. Or - I am sure you could do a lot of good working in an orphanage, if you feel called to do that type of work.

I don't know if it is wise to view God as some sort of cosmic parent, whose approval you need. Furthermore, while we can't be sure what happens in the afterlife, what we do know is this life is chuck full of opportunities to do good. What God would not be happy to have you use the gifts and talents he gave you to do good on earth while you are here?

One thing I am very sure of is that your best bet is to figure out what are the best interests, talents, skills and gifts that God gave you in THIS LIFE. Then develop and use those gifts to the fullest extent you can HERE on EARTH. This should help you feel more fulfilled personally, let you feel proud of yourself, and in the meantime should help others of God's children who could benefit from your work.

A good way to heal is to engage in something that takes you outside of yourself, and connects you to something larger than yourself, connects you to something that is a part of what God is. What kind of God would not be pleased that you made the best use of the time and gifts he gave you in the life you could be sure of? What kind of God would not be happy that you made the  best use you could of the life he gave you?  

I wish you well in finding peace with your life circumstances, and putting your "this life" gifts to full use.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much.
But I am really good in literature and can become an author or columnist.I would love to do that but have not studies journalism, so i don't think I will be employed .
I wish to work as a counselor , so I can heal people .But I want to do that for free, and I need enough money right now, so I can afford to do charity.
Yup, orphanage is something I would look forward to work in at a later age.
Right now, I really need to settle.
But I am seriously sure, I need to communicate with God , i don't mind if it is on the last day . But I just want him to say " Dear Anne, you have done great deeds and for that I am grateful to you."

But I just want him to say " Dear Anne, you have done great deeds and for that I am grateful to you."

Well, I wish you luck in this. I am not so sure you can direct God's reaction to your attempts at pleasing him. I remain with my original recommendation of finding personal fulfillment in helping others for their own sake. I surely cannot tell you what type of job to choose, but I think if you quiet your mind, and listen for messages from God or Spirit, you will receive the direction you are looking for.

Wishing you best of luck in your choices.  

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Margaret Placentra Johnston


I am particularly interested in answering questions about the stages of spiritual growth, faith development, religious stages. The term spiritual growth or spiritual development can have many different interpretations. In some cases, it refers to the ability to have para-normal or mystical experiences. Others use it to describe the ability to communicate with beings that are not present here on earth with us at this time, such as dead people or our own prior lifetimes. This is not where my knowledge and expertise lie. The type of spiritual growth questions I can address concern here and now issues about religious belief versus non-belief, the stages of religious development and spiritual development where spirituality is defined as living deeper than the surface things of life, knowing there is more to life than the latest new car, questioning the deeper meanings of our existence.


For at least the past twenty years I have been a serious student of the various spiritual development theorists. The concept of spiritual growth occurring in stages throughout our lifetime is a vitally important factor that, if more widely known, could help decrease a lot of the religious intolerance and societal tensions we are putting up with today. My book of stories about real people growing beyond the need for traditional religion was published by Quest Books in October, 2012: Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind.

Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation(and many others unrelated to this topic.)

www.mpjauthor.com Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind.(Quest Books, October, 2012.) http://www.exploring-spiritual-development.com http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margaret-placentra-johnston/

Four college degrees, including an undergraduate degree from the Catholic University of America where required theology and philosophy courses formed the equivalent of a college minor.

Awards and Honors
GOLD WINNER of the 2013 Nautilus Book Award in Religion/Spirituality.

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