And Mary said to the angel, “how will this be…?”
~ Luke 1:34, LEB ~
If you were able to, in a moment of quiet, reflect back on the happenings in your life over the course of the past year as though examining the life of another or reading about it in a book – how will it appear? Without being guarded and engaging in self-justification. Instead, being honest concerning the facts of your own personal experience. What do you believe may be found? Were things done in haste, anger, or out of desperation where your situation was made worse? Are there any regrets? Do you feel justly deserving of any form of punishment for making bad decisions or mistakes? Desire to engage in doing things in a way where you feel the need to be perfect – otherwise consider yourself a failure?
We definitely want to learn from our past mistakes. It is how we grow and become better individuals. Our desire is to not repeat those same mistakes. And yet, we all too often fall into the trap of shame and guilt when we falter and make the same mistakes. It may cause a sense of feeling quite overwhelmed and trapped in our own difficulties.
The reality of it is this: We are human and are prone to making mistakes. We feel incomplete and therefore chase after a desire of being perfect. An unrealistic expectation and burdensome yoke we take upon ourselves. We tend to forget our life is an ever-unfolding process of experiences. It may be due to our own personal fear of being open and vulnerable to correction and criticism. Perchance, if we make mistakes, we feel people may view us as weak, incapable of doing things right, or judged by those mistakes we have made. Maybe some of us even experienced some form of ridicule, being belittled, shamefully judged and criticized for those mistakes being made.
How is it possible for me to overcome the shame and guilt felt when I do not measure up to personal expectations? More so, how do I overcome the shame and guilt felt when not measuring up to other people’s expectations of me?
When the Angel Gabriel presented himself to Mary and revealed to her, she shall be with child and will give birth to the Savior of humanity – her question rests upon curiosity. How will this be? Since she had not had any relations with her husband Joseph – how will she be with child? Her question becomes our own personal question. Couple it with what it is you are seeking after; one may discover the very answer.
And this answer we may discover is this: Christ’s love is perfect and steadfast. Despite our own human frailty, our waywardness, Jesus Christ cares deeply for each of us. What does His perfect, steadfast, and unending love mean for you today? How does it change your perspective?
How is it possible for one to attain spiritual perfection when we fall short of the Father’s commandments? It becomes possible when we come to understand and know how Christ’s love is powerful enough so that when we accept His invitation to come unto Him and follow Him – we are able to walk in His footsteps. We become living sacrifices unto those good works so that we grow spiritually. It is through this process we are transformed into His image and likeness. Our lives become the light and testimony of His divine love and power that changes everything.
It is this power, His deep unending love, that brings us peace with the direction of our life. A new direction with renewed purpose and hope whereby we experience this genuine peace. One that is lasting and not one of illusion we typically are chasing after. His deep unending love is the power of inner peace we are able to claim for ourselves – a spiritual birthright through Jesus Christ.
Today’s Thought and Reminder
Whenever you feel tempted, overwhelmed, or ashamed of being inadequate, a failure, and not living up to your own personal expectations (or that of others): remind yourself that living a Mindful Crucified Christian life is a process of experience. A process of growing pains where you may stumble along the way. Take a moment to reflect, meditate, and enter into contemplative prayer as a means to allow the influence of the Holy Spirit to assist in removing any irrational thought related to certain impulses.
Know that you are not alone in the spiritual process leading toward spiritual perfection.
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