A few entries back, I mentioned something about paradoxes. The more I learn, the more I see the paradoxes in Scripture. The last shall be first. The lowly will be exalted. Finding true freedom when you submit to the will of God. Finding strength in weakness. Things like that. And surely there are dozens more.
One such paradox has been running around in my head since this weekend, and it seems the only way that I will get it out of my head is to write it down. Kind of a mental download, I guess.
The sacrament of reconciliation. By its very nature, there is some degree of humility involved. And humility is not a bad thing. What I find that happens, though, and I don't quite understand how or why, is that from the humility required for the sacrament arises a certain amount of dignity. The dignity that allows one to walk through life with the knowledge that they are a beloved daughter or son of God.
I have known this for a while. During the spring of the year, I often find myself overwhelmed with paperwork, very stressed, and not very nice to be around. I remember saying to myself, and anyone who didn't have the good sense to run the other direction, that I didn't like the person I became at that time of the year. And then it dawned on me - if you don't like the person you have become, there is a place to go; a place to do something about it; a way to get through a very trying time with some dignity intact. And so one morning, I went to confession, and explained about the paperwork and the resulting stress and ugliness, and expressed my sorrow for my part in it. And there I received encouragement, advice, forgiveness, and absolution. It was great! Nearly a year later, I still remember the advice.
I had a similar experience this weekend. I went in with things that I have seen, but didn't really like about myself. I explained (without excuses). I let it go and passed it along to God to handle. Maybe it is about facing our issues honestly and seeing that God is not scared away by our weaknesses, failures, and shortcomings. He embraces us and welcomes us back. Now I finally feel like I can move forward with God walking along side of me. Awesome, awesome.
From humility comes dignity?
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