And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
~ John 1:5, LEB ~
Living a mindful crucified Christian life has taught me to take a frank and honest look at my way of handling life. It has revealed unto me the whole armory of weapons I possessed and used. Many of these weapons are used by others: Irresponsibility, compulsive and impulsive behavior, anger, resentment, shame, manipulation, accusations, judgment, criticisms, blame, and self-righteous indignation. Such weapons have brought death to my own spirit, to relationships, and to living a meaningful life with purpose and intent. It destroyed the desire to seek the will of God for my own life. It murdered the passion and desire to live a life of faith and courage. It devastated love, respect, and integrity. All that was left for me: fear, unbearable guilt and shame, and a lost soul.
In my own personal pursuit of striving to be perfect, likeable, accepted, and respected – I became wrapped up in my own delusions. If I could only do this. Had I only done that? If I would have made this decision. Such thoughts meant I was living by personal expectations of self – and those expectations of others. These expectations stem from the standards society appears to place on each one of us. And for those of us who come to realize the truth of who Christ is – we realize the grave mistake of placing worldly expectations upon our own life.
Instead, denying ourselves completely and fully, taking up our own personal cross to follow Christ, means we are no longer living according to our own personal expectations. Nor are we living according to the expectations of society. For we are living according to the expectations of our Heavenly Father that is found in being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
A mindful crucified Christian life means we are ever seeking God’s guidance as our focus and energy is on becoming the best person, we are able to become through Christ. And it is the approval of God’s favor that matters more than the approval of our peers. Because His light shines forth and reveals to us where our priorities lay. It calls us out of the darkness of pleasing others and into the light of truth where we live to please God.
It is our spiritual obligation to strive to live according to the teachings and truths of Jesus Christ as we find illumination along the path of righteousness. Through our diligence of living our live dedicated to our Heavenly Father – the light of Christ empowers us to overcome the darkness that is within us. Through Christ, we overcome the darkness of our own personal shame and guilt we’ve carried for so long. It brings us through the swamp of despair and depression. His light gives us a way to find love and peace where there is emptiness and a sense of feeling abandoned.
Another aspect of living a mindful and crucified Christian life has shown me the limited power I possessed over my own will. Yet, through Christ, there is a deep and powerful limitless power that strengthens me each day. And to reach such power means I have to reach deeper in faith and root my trust and confidence in His will and desire for my life. I need not to shun the power of Christ to light the way for me. Rather, I learn to harness His power and authority wisely so that I am no longer blind and limited in facing the challenges of everyday life.
Through Christ, I am no longer powerless. Nor is my life unmanageable. As a humble disciple of Christ, I know I am growing in faith, waxing strong in the Lord, and finding courage to face life. No longer bound by the expectations of others and society but bound by the expectations of my Heavenly Father.
Today’s Thought and Reminder
True spiritual guidance requires sacrifice of my will and desire of what I expect. It gives me the strength to assert and power to live a well-meaning and purposeful life through Christ. It is only through my own arrogance that leads me to experience strife and find disappointment and discouragement as I attempt to live according to the standards and expectations of others and society.
Wisdom is gained when I am able to heed the counsel of God and live according to His expectations that Christ has revealed and taught. Applying them to my own life as I grow and find my way through life.
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