Readings for today: Acts 2:14, 36-41; 1 Peter 2:20-25; John 10:1-10
But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval.
I’ve said this time and time again, but I really find it profound (and sometimes really freaky) when the readings speak right to me and my current situation. This is installment number ?????
I find it incredibly fascinating when it comes after a tough decision or a poor outcome – in this case, moving on from a relationship that I wanted at one point, but realizing that there were too many places where there was zero compatibility. Morals were one of those things.
Compromise is a good and healthy thing, but there are some things that each of us stand by – regardless of what it is – that we just can’t compromise. And you shouldn’t! Because that is what makes you YOU.
But most of the time (or who am I kidding, ALL THE TIME), staying firm in your beliefs and convictions is tough. It’s heart breaking. And sometimes, it can lead to suffering after the fact. So what’s the point? What’s the point of having morals and convictions if standing by them means that you suffer, get ridiculed, and just feel really sad afterwards?
Hearing the above quote (1 Peter 2:20) during mass today gave me every single reason in the simplest way possible.
It reminds of the following quote from Malcolm X: “A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” We have convictions because we believe in them. There are certain things that we believe in and stand by because we believe that they are right, and of course, these things differ from person to person. Without these convictions, we would float through the world as a person of indifference.
Jesus’ conviction was that He loved the world and everyone in it. Despite the fact that He was born sinless and committed no crime, He still died for us. That is the ultimate show of sacrifice and standing by your conviction, even to the point of suffering and death.
So in the same way, I know that when I am standing for what I believe in – when I am doing God’s will in my life – I KNOW that I have HIS approval. And that is such a beautiful thing!
To be validated by humans on Earth is definitely an incredible feeling, but to know that you are validated and loved by God Himself and that He is going to back you up on your decisions and convictions is so much more incredible.
Today at mass, when I heard that line, I was transfixed on it. I felt so calm after a week of being distressed and second guessing myself and whether or not I was doing the right thing.
With this Sunday being Good Shepherd Sunday, Jesus reminds us in the gospel that He is the one that wins for us eternal life. All of the other voices in the world – those of greed, power, fame, sex, envy – will always lead on a never-ending search for happiness. But in God, He will lead you to the greenest of pastures. Stay true to and stand firm in doing God’s will, and He will validate you in more abundant ways than humans ever will.
Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of eternal covenant, make you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us that which is pleasing in his sight. – Hebrews 13:20-21
St. Stephen, pray for us!