Have you ever been in a rut, maybe for an extended period of time? I feel like that’s me. As I’ve expressed previously, it’s been a tough couple years professionally while our conference ministry is still recovering from COVID, especially the last 12 months. Recently I’ve been reminded of some lessons, principally the importance of:
Pride is considered one of the gravest of sins. And it’s certainly the root of most evil. Pride impacts our thoughts, decisions, responses (reactions), and actions. It’s not something we necessarily express or experience intentionally but develops in us over time. Pride creates in us this feeling that we’re always right…and when not agreed with, believing we’re under attack.
Humility is the opposite of pride. In short, it’s understanding that there’s only one God and we’re not Him. To me, it’s internalizing that it’s not us in doing the things we do, but God working through us. Our gifts and talents are given to us by Him. He calls us to live out a specific purpose on this earth. We need to rely on Him, His Will for what that is and what we do. All of this is related to humility.
These concepts don’t easily play themselves out in the moment, during the occasional tough conversations we have. I know that’s true for me. Btw, my biggest sin of my past was pride. I’m finding I’m still pretty good at it today…something I’m not proud of (no pun intended). Prayer is so important, as is study of our faith, and interacting with others on this journey.
We’ve discussed it before…it’s so important to have an attitude of gratitude. It helps us with humility and fighting against pride. Before I go to bed, I’ve reestablished the habit of thinking through my day and being grateful for all the things that occurred…taking them to prayer.
As related to potential pride and lessons learned, what is God trying to teach me (you) through challenging times? This has been something I’ve been struggling with. Pride can lead to self-pity…not a good characteristic. In faith, we need to understand that all things contribute to who God is making us to be, who He’s calling us to be.
There are a couple expressions my wife and I really love:
- “You are where you are because that’s where you’re supposed to be”
- “No matter where you go, there you are”
It’s every single experience or occurrence in our lives that makes us who we are today. Although it would be nice to be able to do so, you can’t carve out one here or there and still be you. Be grateful…I’m trying to do so daily.
I like to say that it’s in understanding and internalizing the unconditional love of Christ, that the unimaginable is achievable, we can live heaven here on earth, and there’s a path to peace, joy, and fulfillment. I still believe this to my core, but it’s not one and done. Ongoing conversion is a real thing, a needed thing.
Born out of God’s love for us, we need to love Him and love others. Matthew Kelly talks about the concept of “holy moments”, which are all the ways to love others. I just watched a video by Fr. Mike Schmitz where he said, “we never need permission to do good”. He followed that up with, “be a person of hope”. Love, love, love them.
It’s a Journey
Like you, I’m engaged in our faith. I’ve made progress on this journey, all by God’s grace. Yet I’ve still been struggling. As I just said above, it’s not one and done. For us to have a joy independent of substance or circumstance, we need to cling to the Cross. For me, I’ve had to double down on the faith related things I’ve been doing, including surrounding myself by the right type of people, brothers in Christ who speak truth into my life.
We all fall down…and Jesus is always there to pick us up. We just need to “ask”.
As always, please email me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with questions, concerns, comments, or prayer requests.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!
Remember…God made you for Greatness!!!