“Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance.”
Today’s Gospel is about the people who doubt that Jesus is who he says he is.
There are so many ways that we, as humans, struggle with the concept of who Christ is and what we should believe or not believe.
Society has a great impact on that confusion, but it can’t be used as an excuse to deny what we know to be true about who He is.
Day in and day out, I, along with everyone else in the world, struggle with my sins. I struggle with the idea that we can and will be forgiven for anything if we ask God’s forgiveness. I struggle with the idea that Jesus Christ came simply to save us by dying for us. I struggle with the idea of who He is and why He is the way He is. But most of all, I struggle to maintain my beliefs that are occasionally mocked and/or attacked.
As Christians, we rely on the Bible to teach us what is true; but what are we to do when these ideas are challenged? Do we soften and mold our ideas to fit those of today’s society? Do we doubt what we know to be true?
These are the things I have to ask myself.
For example, a while back, I read a blog post that went viral by a girl who was encouraging people around my age (I’m 24) to do what they want because life is short and Christians have simply been brainwashed to believe the things they believe. This tore my heart open; not only because it goes completely against God’s teachings, but also because people are often easily persuaded by what they read and don’t realize the effects of what we submit ourselves to.
I walked away wondering about my beliefs. I wondered whether or not certain sins were “so bad” that I wouldn’t get into Heaven and why people made such a big deal of the ones that seemed inevitable.
But then, my conscience – the conscience given to me by God to serve as my saving grace – kicked in. I immediately felt sick with myself and my thoughts because my beliefs come from the very pits of my soul. Not from being brainwashed. My beliefs stem from the very plain and simple fact that I have been delivered by the Almighty One.
God has blessed me with the ability to tell right from wrong. He’s given me the opportunity – time and time again – to redeem myself through Him, and with Him.
The feelings that I get when I know something to be untrue or destructive to who we are as believers is so strong and profound that it couldn’t possibly come from any other source than Him. It’s inexplicable.
I encourage you today to listen to and trust those “feelings”. I challenge you to be true to yourself and what you believe inside of YOU, not what others tell you to believe. I challenge you to form and build your own relationship with Christ. Open your heart to Him, not to those who try to turn you away from Him.
You may, and most likely will, struggle. So what? Get over it. Fall and then get back up. Fail and then attempt to succeed again. But whatever you do, stay true to who you know God wants and expects you to be — like Him.
Persevere, my friends.
Sarah Dixon is the Assistant Editor for the Diocese of Savannah’s Southern Cross newspaper in Savannah, GA. She enjoys laying in the park doing absolutely nothing and smiling at those passing by. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.