As we all know, you can’t earn grace. It is freely given to you. So perhaps it is not grace people are trying to earn. Approval, maybe? Approval from God and from man. A youth pastor gets a tattoo, famous Christians coming up with new gimmicks to fit in with the current pop culture, as if they’re saying, “hey, Christians are cool, too!” There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with those things. If that is what you desire, if that is what you think makes you “you,” then sure, go for it. But if you’re doing it to earn others’ approval, I have to ask, “why?” We can’t earn anything from God. So all this is for man, right? But why? Why do we care what man have to say about us. The biggest authority is God. As long as I can face him, isn’t that enough? To live. To be His.
Seems like there is a lot of “waiting,” or free time in the pursuit of holiness. Usually sin fills up these empty spaces, takes up our time. Kierkegaard famously wrote about boredom being worse than death. He concluded God as the only way to fill our void. And he’s right. I’m not waiting. I’m already here. It’s not free time. It’s quite time. Enjoy the stillness of being with God.
I don’t smoke, so I don’t know what it is like to quit smoking, but I can only imagine pursing holiness, cutting away sin is like quit smoking. It’s hard in the beginning, then it becomes a part of your life, and you accept it. A mentor of mine said the secret to life is “routine.” Whether you want to lose weight, eat health, or learn a new hobby, the trick is to have a good routine. I think the pursuit of holiness is very much the same. Perhaps the temptation is bigger, since it is so easy to sin. But it’s good to know that I’m not fighting alone. Maybe someone should write a 12 step guide to holiness. But then again, maybe every experience is different.
I thank You for constantly reminding me. Jesus said it’s the Spirit that is going to pick up the rest of his work. And indeed, it is the Spirit who’s been a constant reminder for me. I remember to listen to the Spirit more, shying away from sin when I was young. Then as I age, I started accepting sin. It’s a journey back, to listen to the quiet voice of the Spirit. And thank you, for not giving up on me, ever.
Perhaps we were born with flaws, defect in the brain, something wrong with our hardware that is only unique to us. The struggles only unique to us. Thus we constantly reach up, seeking more, trying to improve our situation. St. Augustine calls it our “Original Sin.” But is that right? Since his interpretation came from a misleading translation. But I do believe a certain part of it was built in (our brain). God says Man should not live alone. Thus our urge in needing a spouse, a companion, though Paul says it is good for Man to live alone, to serve God more. I think the urges created in us is a small imprint of God’s intention. Purposely leaving it unfulfilled, so we can seek more. But it is easy to fill the void with sin, and thus creating a bigger void. And that is the hard part about living. But thank God we have Him.
Instead of arguing, forcing others to take my point of view, I find it educational to really putting myself in their shoes and try to understand where they’re coming from, why they believe a certain thing. I don’t have to believe their theories, their faith. But I always gain more of mine when I really open up.
I used to admire God’s grace through sin. How he forgives, how he loves. But no more. I need to separate myself from sin. To be near him. With his power, it it possible. I thank thee, and I ask You to help me once more. To be near You.