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Friday, July 8, 2011

The Long Hard Road to Sainthood

I really want to be a saint. Not the biblical version where all believers are saints, but the Francis of Assisi version, the Paul version, the Ignatius version. I could list name after name of visionaries with faith like fire who I want to emulate, but the problem is I don't want to do it for God's glory. I yearn for it on my own account. I want to serve the Lord so that I might be recognized for great faith, so that I may be regarded as a great servant, so that I may be esteemed highly of men, not of God. I am a selfish wretch. Lord help me.

I often fear that everything I believe may be untrue. Strangely enough, I believe this to be my first step towards sainthood, because this fear does not stem from my own desire to be right, or from the fact that I can't live without my crutch, it does not even have a self-pitying aspect, or a I don't want to be obliterated aspect. This fear is rooted in my love of God. It is a fear that if my beliefs are wrong then something great and good is missing from the Universe, in fact that all that is great and good is missing, all greatness and goodness is gone. I hate the thought of a world without God because he is great and good. It is messed up the way I end up expressing my admiration for His greatness and goodness.

This is a good evidence for God: it is said sometimes that religion, and especially Christianity, is a comfort we give ourselves because we don't wish to face the real world. I say that is foolish; anyone who knows a hardcore Christian ought to know that our religion is not comfortable. Honestly, life would be easier without the God factor, we'd be free to do and think as we please without all the guilt and conviction and confessions and morality, etc. If God was simply a way of comforting myself, why would I deny Him so readily and so often? If I was looking for comfort, why would I choose a way of life that constantly makes me seem foolish and hypocritical? Why would I pick a way of life that brings light to my flaws?

I was talking about sin the other day at work, trying to explain why I do not enjoy glorifying it, even humorously or ironically. I have to take sin seriously, I do not think that this is a deficiency or a weakness however. To be able to laugh about sin is not a wonderful and enjoyable freedom. I would much rather be free from sin and laughing in its face. Why can I not take sin lightly though? I have sinned, I continue to sin. That should be reason enough, it is to close to home. But what of sins that I have not seen or felt? What about a joke about dying African children? Why can't that be funny? I think that there is a crass attitude necessary to make light of such a situation. I may not take that attitude and the joke might be funny in and of itself, but the fact that that joke is being told by those God has placed around me shows I have much yet to do in their lives. I am responsible, in a sense, for their sin. They do not know the difference between right and wrong, but I do. It is my task to inspire good in them. My failure is my sin. I know it is God ultimately who inspires their hearts, yet I must work to make the truth known. I am positive that I do not do as much as I could.

Short: I need to die to myself that I might, through Love, strengthen my certainty of God's truth and become an example that will enable others to become aware of their sin and of the Lord's goodness and glory in cleansing them of it.