A question that I often get asked by students and adults alike is, ‘how can I actually keep from sinning, from committing the same sins over and over again! They passionately and sincerely express desire to know the freedom that is promised in scripture.
There is no doubt, for anyone that has read scripture, that Christ sets us free, and would like us to stay that way. He’d like us to continue to being free from sin so as to avoid ‘backsliding’ and grow in holiness. He would like us to be holy and stay holy. Seems like an impossible task! But what kind of God sets before us a call to what is impossible? Certainly not the God that we believe in. Our God calls as to be holy and promises that with our cooperation, God’s grace will get us there.
So let’s focus on our part of this effort. There’s good news! We can cut the goal into realistic and reachable portions. So how do we do that one day, one week at a time.
Now you’re rooted in keeping your focus on Jesus and now you can be more sensitive to how the Holy Spirit is trying to guide you every single day. It’s really just one day at a time. Don’t look back to the ‘stuff’ that you’ve been freed from, rejoice in a brighter future. Whoever and whatever it is that makes you a slave to sin, walk away. If you need help, get some. Embrace the freedom and love that you were made for. Count your blessings every night and thank God for one more day, every morning.
Over time you’ll begin to notice the changes in you, your relationships and that you are more fully free than ever before. You’ll be able to say, even though I’m still struggling with overcoming a particular sin or temptation, by the grace of God, personal effort, prayer and prayerful support of others… I am living victory because I am better than before, stronger than before. I have a victory attitude, not a victim attitude!
You only have to think about it one day, one week at a time. Isn’t that much more encouraging? Of course, if you happen to have really slipped so far back, the Sacrament of Reconciliation can catch you and bring you back to solid ground and freedom.
Fr. Blair Gaynes has been in the Diocese since 2008.