I think I previously shared that I struggle with the need for a savior. It isn’t that I don’t believe, but the truth has not fully penetrated my heart. I have yet to allow this truth to bring me to greater contrition, which is an essential part of the Christian journey.
I suppose another way of saying this is that a part of me buys into the societal view of good and evil, and this is at odds with Scripture. You may not agree with my description of the societal view, but maybe we can agree that it is at least in the ball park. Society tells us that we are individuals, and we have great latitude in choosing to do what we want, when we want. Society seems to be changing from a shared moral code to this idea that if it makes me feel good, what is the harm? There is this sense that we get to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong, within the limits of human law. There seems to be this belief that one cannot judge someone else’s moral code, but that seems impossible to me.
Truth tells us that God created the world. He knows how he made us and what is good for us. He is not arbitrary in the moral order he created. It is for our own good. It is for our physical and mental health, and it puts us into proper relationship with him, our creator. Experience tells me that I’m not any happier when I choose to overindulge in food or entertainment. Experience tells me that I’m only content for a short period of time when I put myself before others, and then I normally feel bad. Experience tells me that the more I choose God’s law, the more at peace I am. However, there was a point in the beginning when the interior voice was loud in its rationalizing and complaining, and that was not peaceful. That still happens, but I’m finding myself returning to peace sooner when I surrender to him and his ways. I choose the word surrender because there is a freedom in surrender. Surrender brings peace and joy. Acceptance, especially grudging acceptance, does neither of these.
Experience also tells me that I cannot fully comply with God’s moral code without grace. No amount of self-discipline or pitting virtue against vice can change the fact that I am weak. I need Jesus. I need to rely on him to get me through my struggles with right living. I need his mercy when I fall short. Encounters with mercy might make some feel guilty, but it makes me feel loved. In fact, yesterday, I broke my commitment to fast from games during Holy Week, and I binged for about an hour. I kept asking for the grace to break free, and I kept hearing, “Debra, I love you anyway.” This should not suggest to the reader that it was ok to play games. I made a commitment. This should be understood as God telling me, “I know you are weak, we are working on it. Keep turning to me. Keep doing your spiritual practices. Continue letting me be your strength in weakness. Do not despair. Trust in me. Trust in my love and goodness. Let me be the bridge to your perfection.” What he said was – “you are in need of a savior. I get it. That is why I came.”
Spend some time with the Holy Spirit considering your own understanding of sin and the evil it brings into the world. Ask him if you need any help piercing your own heart; your own acceptance of why Jesus had to come and die for us. Spend some time during this Holy Week walking the way of the Cross with Jesus. Do not leave him in the Garden alone. Don’t leave him to carry his cross alone. Ask him to pierce your own heart with truth, as needed. Endeavor to go deeper in self-knowledge, and then, on Easter, let us all celebrate that while still sinners, Jesus chose to die for us. That is how much he loves us. However, without self-knowledge, we can never reach the depths of this truth.