“Faith, in its most correct form, never removes
responsibility; it removes fear of responsibility."
- Criss Jami
I remember this day like it was yesterday.
“Oh my God, I think someone stole my credit card,” my grandma frantically said as I walked through the door of our house. She told me the bank just called her with an automated message about unusual activity on her account.
“Whoa, hold on!" I replied. "You don’t even know what they are calling unusual activity, grandma, you have to think positively.” I’ll never forget what she said next because it changed my life.
“What did you just say!" She angrily responded. "Maggie, positive thinking won’t change whether someone stole my credit card or not."
She was right.
My grandma knew exactly what I meant about thinking positively, but in that moment, she also knew that I was lost in a universe of only me. Her words brought me back to reality.
I used to believe that our thoughts alone could physically change situations, rather than our thoughts just influencing how we respond to situations.
When I was telling my grandma to think positively, I was literally believing that if someone stole her credit card, her positive mindset would somehow reverse that situation.
You might think all of this sounds "woo woo" and crazy, but there are tons and tons of books about success that often speak about "thinking things into existence." At the time, I didn't truly understand that there's more to it than just that.
Before that moment with my grandma, I was unconsciously playing God. After that moment, I realized that I no longer heard His voice—all I heard was my own ego.
"Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk
of the word, so that by it you may grow in
respect to salvation." - 1 Peter 2:2
A few months later, I started attending a Bible study group. The people in the group were going through obstacles in their life just like I was, but they were happy and excited about life—and not the fake "put on a smile in front of people" type of happy. I felt the love of God flowing through their every being. I wanted that joy.
I knew It was time for me to rededicate my life to God.
If babies only lived off milk their entire life, they would be malnourished. We can't be babies forever. At some point, we must take responsibility for the things we can control and grow.
If we do not grow in our faith, we will be malnourished in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—all which God produces in us as we continually walk with, learn from, and get to know Him.
The part that no one wants to hear, though, but needs to be said anyway, is that adversity is one of the things that God uses to help us grow spiritually. If you want to get "in shape," you must exercise to burn fat and strain your muscles so that they can expand. Adversity is the strain on our life so that God can bring a most blessed outcome.
Spiritual growth may be a lifelong process, but as you continually walk with God, He will produce qualities in you that will help you grow and battle the challenges of today.
And you know what, you'll even find yourself smiling more.
I'd love to hear from you. What's one thing you can do today to increase in the fruit of the Spirit (qualities listed above)? Comment over at the discussions page.
Conquer the challenges of life one step at a time so you can continue to be that special somebody you were born to be.