Your enemy wants you to lose, wants you to get stuck in the cycle of regret, self-pity and loathing from defeat. It is so easy for us to get caught up in our mistakes, believe me, I know, I have a lot of them. I look back on my life, and I see plenty of errors that I regret. People, I may have hurt or situations I controlled because I thought at the time my view was correct. Sometimes our opinions or positions may be correct, but that doesn’t make them right.
If we look only in black and white, which is what our enemy wants us to do, it can obscure the gray; it is in the gray that we tend to hurt people and situations, unintentionally. The ego is a complex thing when it shields us from seeing our part in every situation good or wrong in a truthful way; but, being awakened to the truth is a Mercy and Grace from God. A Holy Spirit conviction is the power of your baptismal and confirmation Sacrament doing its job and preparing us to continue fighting our enemies.
Spiritual warfare is real and the battlefield is usually in our heads with our thoughts. Our enemies try to deceive us with lies. Lies they tell us about ourselves and others and it is the Holy Spirit that reveals the truth, NOT to hurt us, but to change us. God does not demand us to be perfect for Him to love us. He just asks us to accept His guidance through the working of the Holy Spirit so that we can learn from our mistakes, grow in Holiness and conquer that which tries to bring us down. There will be times when we fall by listening and that is okay, we all make mistakes and fall periodically, but we must not stay there having a pity party.
Now here is how it can get tricky. When we are awakened to see fully our faults it is important that we learn from them, seek forgiveness from God and if possible correct them instead of wallowing in self-pity and loathing punishing ourselves for our wrongs. I have a beloved sister in Christ who falls into this trap of the enemy all the time. She repeats her sins in confession and cries tears over them and badmouth herself for her wrongs never letting them go. This overly scrupulous behavior is what our enemy intends for us to do to prevent us from growing closer to God and accomplishing our goals. Dear friends, we must never let this happen to us. If we confess our sins with a contrite heart we must let it go, forgive ourselves as well and trust God to heal us through the Sacrament. There is no need to rehash our mistakes hoping for a better resolution, this thought is a trick from our enemy. We can not change the past we can only move forward all the wiser with more compassion.
A clergy friend of mine once said to me, if you do not let go of a confessed sin and trust in God’s saving Grace and continue to live in regret and shame, you place yourself above God. You think you know better than He because you think your sin is unforgivable and continue to punish and torture yourself instead of accepting and believing in God’s mercy. This reaction is not humility this is a trick from your enemy into your ego, do not fall into the trap and engage in this thinking; if you do, it will be as entrapping as a chronic addiction. One thought leads to another and another and before you know it you are trapped in the cycle of condemnation. Just as a chronic alcoholic can not take one drink because it will lead to an avalanche of drinks you can not let one negative thought linger. Do not entertain the enemy. We as human beings are meant to fall by our mistakes, to learn from them and do better. As we correct and prepare a child from falling into danger our God corrects and prepares us the same way by allowing us to make mistakes and forgiving us for doing so in order for us to learn how to do better. Think of Jesus carrying the cross, every time He fell He would get right back up to keep moving forward. We too are meant to pick ourselves up to keep moving forward and when we become weakened as Jesus did we need to be Simon’s to one another. Simon did not judge Jesus, he helped him get back up to continue moving forward.
If you find yourself being crushed by the weight of unproductive thoughts from your past counter your negative thoughts by reading these scriptures,
“I–yes, I alone–will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again. Isaiah 32:25
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12
And remember that everyone struggles with the same life issues so do not let yourself feel isolated and alone. With that in mind
Because just like you, they are striving to do better and conquer their enemies without having a setback. Sometimes we can find comfort in realizing the saints went through everything we do and not only did God forgive them, but they now sit with Him in heaven. You may be surprised to learn
- Abraham lied and Sarah laughed at God’s promise to bear a son.
- Moses was a murderer
- Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.
- Jacob was a liar and a cheat.
- David had an affair and set up her husband to die so that he can have her.
- Peter lied by denying Jesus
- Paul murdered Christians.
- Jonah defied God.
- Miriam was a gossip.
- Jeremiah and Elijah let depression and suicidal thoughts set in.
- Martha was consumed with worry
- Noah was a drunk.
- Moses, Peter, Andrew, and Paul had hot tempers.
And these are just some of the personal struggles known from the scriptures. There are countless books on the challenges the saints battled. We are all called by our baptism to be saints and we can do it. We can conquer by confessing our sins with humility and turning our mistakes into stepping-stones to improve.
- SO, THE SECRET TO CRUSHING YOUR ENEMY AND ACHIEVING SUCCESS IS IN HUMILITY. That’s right folks, humility is the virtue and weapon the enemy can’t touch and will quickly flee.