Posted by jessica | Posted in Faith | Posted on September 07, 2009
We have become obsessed with finding ourselves and are bombarded with feel good empty messages like, “You deserve better”, “Do something for yourself”, “To be whole you need to find yourself”. We spend years searching for and catering to this mystery person that we do not know and must somehow discover in order to reach some pinnacle of self actualization and fulfillment. We have become dogs chasing our own tails.
It is when we stop turning toward self enlightenment and instead seek God’s enlightenment by being honest about our faults and ask Him to help us change not necessarily what we want, but what He wants us to change, that the real journey to depth, wisdom, and the ability for God to use us for His glory begins. It isn’t from some convoluted search for how we can make ourselves feel whole or discovering what we think will make us happy that leads to any Truth or depth of character. Quite to the contrary when we rely on ourselves instead of God to answer the questions of “why do I exist”, “what do I do to grow” and “what should I do with my life” we end up making selfish unfulfilling choices and eventually end up the slave to a master who literally is hell bent on our destruction.
How do we know ourselves, understand what God wants from us and make the choices in life that serve and give Glory to God? Continual repentance and obedience! Not the self deprecating beliefs found in abused souls convinced they are worthless but the honest acknowledgement that we time and time again give into our fallen nature. Not the blind obedience of a slave but the trusting obedience of child to a loving parent who knows what is best for us.
It is a contradiction of words but a reality of Truth that abandoning oneself to God leads to real freedom to be who we were created to be and will give Glory to God who is all deserving of nothing less.
Only obeying God’s Will and repenting because of what we get out of it instead of a desire for God to use us for His Glory leads away from the narrow path and onto the wide path to exactly what we thought we were avoiding: darkness, confusion, emptiness and loneliness.
Mark Shea’s short article on catholic exchange simply explains the difference between turning our faults over to God and trying to understand and fix them ourselves.
The video below is a brief summary of a very good sermon by Paris Reidhead a protestant preacher on an attitude of true repentance and obedience. (I qualify this referance for my reader in search of catholic teaching by saying it is a protestant preacher and the full sermon on humanism is good but definitely has no imprimatur so to speak.) :p