At the heart of Christian discipleship is our faith in God, which causes us to think and act in specific ways. Because of our faith, we trust that God will provide for us and protect us throughout our lives. Because of our faith, we surrender our wills over to God’s will and try to obediently follow God’s laws in our day to day living. The Carmelite nun, Therese of Lisieux, once wrote, “It is our Father alone who can make us saints.” I whole-heartedly agree that submission to God results in the transformation of our very beings, but Christians must be careful not to let this sort of thinking make them weak and unempowered. Sometimes, when we think we are surrendering to God, what we are really doing is being passive, complacent or irresponsible. This can lead to great unhappiness and leave one feeling like a victim in his or her own life.
While we are called to give our suffering and brokenness over to Jesus, we must also assume responsibility for our lives and the development of God’s kingdom on this earth. There is truth to the saying: God helps those who help themselves. This is your life, and you play an active role in shaping your own future!
And not just yours! You have the ability to positively affect the realities of your family and friends, your community, your church, any place in the world you decide to get involved. The Great Spirit is empowering your spirit so that you can co-create a world with God that resembles the kingdom of heaven.
You have been given a mind with which to think, a heart with which to feel, and a will with which to choose, use them all to cultivate a meaningful life and a healthier world!