Tuesday, January 18, 2011

More Jesus

“He must increase; I must decrease.” John 3: 30

Out whole lives there will be a struggle between how much we allow ourselves to dominate our lives, and how much we allow God to dominate our lives. A struggle between what we want and what God wants. A struggle between our pride and God’s humility. Why is there this struggle? Because we want to be the centers of the universe and because God will allow us to try.

The reality is that God loves us enough to allow us free will. This means that when we accept His unconditional love and seek to love Him in return by giving Him our lives, we allow Him to lead us. But it also means that we have the power to reject Him and go our own way. Free will is the crazy risk of love that God takes each time a new life is created. And some may wonder why He takes this risk. But without free will and the ability to choose Christ, we cannot love Him, we could only at best hope to be some kind of robotic slaves who are forced to do His will. And God is not looking for robots, He is looking for disciples, for followers, for those willing to share in His manifold love of the Trinity in a relationship.

God ONLY wants what is good for us, what is best for us, what will make us the most happy and peaceful, and yet we still choose ourselves over Him. We would rather settle for shadows of His goodness and trick ourselves into feeling in control over our own lives, than to relinquish control and actually dwell in His wonders.

Each day, many times, we are confronted with opportunities to allow Him to increase in our lives, or to increase ourselves. The results of letting Him increase are seen in the fruits of the Spirit that our lives will produce: love, patience, kindness, faithfulness, generosity, self-control, chastity, etc. The results of increasing ourselves can be seen in our stress, anger, guilt, humiliations and more. The more we try to increase ourselves, the more we look like a three-year-old having a tantrum.

So how do we allow Christ to increase in us while at the same time decreasing ourselves? First we need to pray for the grace to desire this. Then we pray for the grace to do it. And we do it by putting Him first, by doing His will. We do it by obeying the Church even when we don’t fully understand what or why she teaches something—not in blind obedience, but with a child-like trust that Jesus is in charge of the Church and she will not lead us astray. We do it by putting ourselves after others around us: not trying to get our way, or what is best for us, or what we think we deserve. We do it by not demanding everything we want. We even do it by sacrificing even that what we need from time to time. We begin to accept that we will have to become small in the eyes of the world. We begin to do all things: our school work, our jobs, our hobbies, our sports, etc for HIS glory and not our own. We begin to live our lives in such a way that when people look at us they do not see us anymore, but they see Jesus. And when we are doing this with JOY, then we will know that we are letting Him increase in our lives.

Dear Jesus, I want You to increase in my life and I want myself to decrease. Through Your grace, may I more and more each day allow You to control my life and lead me to heaven. Amen.

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