When I Surrender my life to God and put my sin problem into His hands, it does not mean that all the problems in life magically disappear. It does not mean that I will not from time to time be tempted. Temptation may come in any moment. The plain truth is that most of my temptations come from within. The Bible says that a man is “being tested by his own lust. It’s his desires that are tempting and enticing him. These lusts will give birth to wickedness, which will in turn grow up and give birth to death” (Jas. 1:14-15).
I must build up my strength to endure temptation, whether it comes from without, or whether it comes from within. I like to think in terms of a spiritual bank account and every prayer, every passage of Scripture, every good work, every Sacrament I receive, every moment spent in worship – these are all spiritual deposits in my account. There are many things that cause me to draw on that account throughout the day. I keep making spiritual deposits so that no matter what the spiritual demand on me may be, I have enough in my account to cover it. There are days when life takes everything from me that I had saved, and I have to work that much harder at restoring the balance of the account. Waiting until I need to make a withdraw before I add anything to the account only ensures that I do not have enough in my account to cover the expense and I go into spiritual default. These little deposits may not seem like much at the time, but if I keep making deposits and collecting the spiritual interest, that account quickly grows and I have an abundance of spirit, allowing me to face anything that comes my way with God’s help.
The key to daily happiness is the daily elimination of the self. Selfishness, self-interest, self-centeredness, and self-will must be abolished. A life focused on the self is a life void of happiness and a life filled with futility and loneliness. Many religions and religious traditions teach that every human being has a Divine Spark within. Selfishness, self-centeredness and self-will extinguish that Divine Spark, but the more the self is suppressed, the more oxygen seems to feed that Divine Spark and it grows and glows and eventually becomes a raging fire. By my attitude and actions I can kill the Divine Spark within me, or I can nourish it, letting it grow into a great light, and I can let that light shine before all, so that they will see that light burning in my life and give glory to God the Father in Heaven (c.f. Mt. 5:16).
QUESTION FOR THE DAY:
Am I making deposits in my spiritual bank account today, or am I just making withdraws?
Heavenly Father, let me grow in unselfishness. Let me grow in honesty. Let me grow in purity. Let me grow in love. Lead me, O Lord, not into temptation, but deliver me from the evil one. Amen.