"The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz was published in 1997 and spent seven years on the "New York Times" bestseller list. It encouraged people to lead more fulfilling lives with four general guidelines to avoid unnecessary worry and suffering. These "agreements" can be related to the Christian faith by examining the Ten Commandments as well as lessons provided by the Bible.
"Be Impeccable With Your Word"
Throughout the course of history, a person's word has always held an immense amount of power. The ability to keep a promise or stay true to one's word has traditionally been directly correlated with a sense of honor. It is because of this that Ruiz believes people must be careful with their speech in order to accurately portray their intention. Similarly, this lesson can be found in the Ten Commandments: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Just as one follows the Golden Rule: "Treat others the way you wish to be treated," being impeccable with your word is meant to augment the level of trust and respect from person to person and avoid deceit.
"Don't Take Things Personally"
This second agreement cautions against concerning oneself with other people's ideas if they contradict our own. Others' beliefs are simply opinions, which have the potential of being misguided and, therefore, must not be taken to heart. In the Second Corinthians of the New Testament, it is said that suffering is eliminated once complete trust is placed in God. Without the concern of anything else, Ruiz believes that people should place trust in themselves rather than be concerned what others say or think.
"Don't Make Assumptions"
The third guideline encourages us to remain curious about the world. We are surrounded by many wonders, and to live life fully we should not be afraid to ask questions until a satisfactory answer has been reached. Instead of assuming one solution, people should pursue the knowledge which they crave without fear. Additionally, the Christian faith believes that assumptions are to be left for God to make, and we should accept those of all kinds, no matter their race or situation. As a model of this, it is believed by Christians that Jesus did not hesitate in helping those who needed his support such as leapers, and accepted any one person who was good, no matter who they were on the outside.
"Always Do Your Best"
Finally, the last of Ruiz's agreements was meant to ease the minds of those who spend their time worrying about being perfect. In the Christian faith, the Apostle Paul reminds his followers that doing their best is much more important than constantly being compared to those around them. The fourth agreement relieves the pressure to always be impeccable, and makes it acceptable for us as humans to have our faults, as long as we attempt to be the best we can.
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