Saturday, June 3, 2017

sinners living holy lives

St Basil talks to us today about living holy lives in A Year with the Church Fathers. And what he says makes sense... but it's hard to do. He tells us to live our lives in such a way that people can't slander us because no one would believe it. That's a great ideal to shoot for, but I'm a sinner who doesn't do a good job of living a perfect life.

So how can we sinners make sense of this goal? I think there are two things that we can do that make all the difference.

One, confess and repent. When you read the Bible, you notice that Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter both denied Jesus. They both betrayed Him. Peter denied even KNOWING Him three times! But there are some things we might notice about what happened next. Judas did not confess (to Jesus) and he did not repent. He ran AWAY from Jesus and hid. Peter, on the other hand, did not run away. He swam TO Jesus when he saw Him on the shore. And he confessed his sins and repented of them.

The other difference, which is Two in my list of things we can do to make sense of our goal, is that Peter kept hope. When Jesus came to him, he hoped that He might be risen indeed from the dead. He hoped that Jesus still had a plan for him. He hoped.

Judas did not have hope. He gave in to despair. He threw away his hope, and with it, he threw away his life.

So those two things, I think, help us sinners make sense of our goals of perfection. Confess and repent of our sins, and keep hope. Never give in to despair, no matter how dark the night. Always keep hope alive, that God will make a way where there is no way.

God, thank You for helping us sinners make sense of our call to holiness.