We have our favorite sins: those sins we find ourselves confessing over and over again. Those sins that always seem to make an appearance, despite our greatest efforts at overcoming them.
We have those sins which we naturally tend toward, and consequently, are the sins which we strive the most to overcome.
“I’m gonna read a book about purity so I can overcome my sins of lust.”
“I’m gonna pray the Litany of Humility everyday to overcome my sins of pride.”
“I’m gonna fast from all condiments, add ons, and all drinks except soda so I can overcome my sins of gluttony.”
“I’m gonna tithe 15% instead of 10% so I can overcome my sins of greed.”
“I’m gonna pray a rosary everyday for the people who irritate me so I can overcome my sins of impatience and frustration.”
We’ve all been there.
Trying to Muscle Our Way to Holiness
While these efforts are noble, we can think we are experts at thinking of ways to muscle our path to virtue. “If only I do _______ then I can make myself holy. If only I do _______ then I can become the kind of person I am meant to be.
If I only work hard enough, I can achieve perfection.
And then I wind up again in the confessional, even more frustrated than before.
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We Are Not Alone
We are fallen individuals. We easily fall prey to temptation. Even the strongest of us is not able to stand in the face of sin and always turn our back.
Like so many aspects of our human lives, we try to go at it alone, and yet we cannot do it alone.
The good news is: we aren’t alone.
God desires to give us the graces we need in order to overcome sin. You want to become a better person and avoid sin more in your life? Great. The secret is to stop striving so hard and rather surrender it to God.
Pray for God’s grace to present in your areas of weakness. Practice remembering His presence when you find yourself in a near occasion of sin. Ask for His assistance when you feel yourself starting to fall.
Ask for Help
Maybe it’s a humility problem, but as humans, we want to do it all ourselves. It is so hard for us to ask for help.
But that’s exactly what the Lord wants to hear. He doesn’t expect you to be able to do it alone! He just wants you to surrender it to Him to help.
You are imperfect, and your greatest efforts can’t change that. But we do have a perfect God, who is readily available to give you the grace to transform you into Himself. Our only task is to keep moving forward in steady surrender.
Stop striving and start surrendering.
Gracie Tillman lives in Colorado as a missionary. She is passionate about hiking, music, quality time with friends and family, and all things involving pasta.