Fighting Temptation

“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” Romans 8:13

What a beautiful quote from scripture. To truly live according to this scripture, will lead you down a path full of awareness of God’s plan for you.

Let me explain. A while back I was very “of the flesh”. To me the words flesh, die, body and live are metaphorical. Meaning that “of the flesh” means very of the world. A person who lives of the world will be cut off from the saving grace of our Lord Jesus. When I say I was of the world, I was more concerned with what I wanted, with how I appeared to others in a superficial way.

It is so easy, especially in today’s society, to get caught up with looks, appearances, who’s-wearing-what, etc. so much so that it interferes with our relationship with God. I actually saw an article that said “good looking” students are more apt to get a job. What is the definition of “good looking”? There is a very specific guideline according to current society standards, which is a funny statement coming from the same people who are so willing to “accept” everyone for who they are – unless of course you are Catholic or Christian.

Let that sink in. There are people more concerned with getting the perfect tan, the next best phone or the fastest care, than they are about where their soul may end up. This is what is mean by “if you live according to the flesh you will die”. This isn’t meant to be taken literally, it is meant as a teaching tool. Telling us that if we put worldly things above God, our spirits will die. There is nothing in this world that is worth going to hell over.

We have to understand that God sent down His son to teach us and save us from ourselves. How much easier can it get? God gave us rules to follow, Jesus came to preach about God and teach us even more. He is the one who brought peace between us and God. It can almost be described as a gap that has been filled by Jesus Christ. The gap of course was created by us, we are weak, foolish, human beings. However, we should use that as a motivator not as a crutch.

We live in a society where the world is literally at our fingertips, our families and friends are just a text away and new age ideas flood the world. The new age idea I am talking about is the more focus on the “self”. So many people say they are spiritual, or in tune with their higher power, some have begun calling God and woman, some women are becoming priests, people are creating their own branches of whatever the heck they want to, then passing it off as a new belief system.

“Back in the day” so to speak, there were not as many worldly distractions between us a God. Notice how I said distractions and not obstacles. We have every choice to not watch the football game on Sunday and go to Church. Or to skip that One basketball practice to go to Mass in the morning.  Obstacles would imply that someone put something in our way to keep us from God. Instead, these things which are seemingly unimportant, are mere extracurricular activities that we can either choose are less important than God or will replace God.

Another thing that bothers me, is how people are so worried about their appearance of themselves to others. Here is one simple question to ask yourself: Will he or she be judging me when I die? NO! Jesus will be the one who first meets you at the hour of your death, not the people you were so desperate to please. I admit that at one time I desperately sought after perfection in other people’s minds. I never wanted to make a mistake in from of someone who be perceived as some kind of unintelligent person. Looking back, I now realize how absolutely ridiculous I was in thinking that! We don’t live this life to please other people, we live our lives to please and honor our God. We treat others how Jesus would have treated them. When Jesus went around preaching the Gospel, He wasn’t worried about how He appeared to others. He was more worried about teaching them how to live their life according to God’s will. He wanted to SAVE people not IMPRESS them! That is what we need to do from now on. Challenge yourself to now care what others think about you, to continue living your life according to what Jesus wants from us.

So if we live according to the spirit (Holy Spirit) and not our flesh (the world) we will live for eternity in the splendor of Heaven. If we live according to the flesh (the world) our spirits will be separated from Jesus and Heaven for eternity.

 

Dear God,

Help me to live according to your will,

To listen clearly to what my calling in life is.

I wish to live in the world spreading your message,

Not of the world and trampling your name.

Help me to overcome any self-doubts,

And replace them with only thoughts of you.

For you are my strength and my courage,

You are the redeemer of my soul.

~Amen

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