Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24
“The Christian stands in a place of conflict… it is not an easy place to stand. It is not easy because we feel the pressures of the world telling us to give up or to give into pleasing the self… The steadiness of prayer and of offering is what is required, and God will do with it as He sees fit.”
Father Colin of Community of the Servants of the Will of God (CSWG), as recounted in What Do You Seek? Wisdom from Religious Life for Today’s World by John-Francis Friendship (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2021) 25.
This short meditation has so much in it. Four thoughts surface for me.
Firstly, Scripture tells us repeatedly that the Christian life is a battle. IF you are not experiencing conflict, I’d ask yourself if you have given in to pleasing the self.
Secondly, I can totally relate to the pressures on one side to give up and on the other to pleasing the self. Both sides spout lies. We must stand in the middle.
Thirdly, the ability to stand with steadiness comes from two disciplines: prayer and offering, also known as giving. We attune to God and serve as generous conduits of blessing. That’s why we are here.
Fourthly, if we weather the conflict and stand by prayer and offering, God will do through us just what He sees fit. What a beautiful outcome! God’s will is done in and through us.
Father in heaven, help us not give in to the pressures, but instead, by your Spirit to stand with steadiness of prayer and of offering. Hear our prayer in your mercy in the name of Jesus. Amen.