So it is in our struggle against sin. None of us start out as Olympic weight lifters. We have to start out gradually and build ourselves up over time. Now, you may already be nearing Olympics caliber when it comes to battling sin, or you may be just starting out. Regardless of where you are, it’s always helpful to review some of the basics.
First, start your training by getting into the practice of examining your conscience each evening. “Where have I fallen short today? In what areas am I committing the same sins over and over? Who may I have hurt today by my words or actions?” Then ask God—and any person you may have offended—for forgiveness. Don’t forget to make sacramental Confession a regular practice. It will give you that extra burst of grace you need the next time you encounter a strong temptation.
Remember that sometimes you have to put something down in order to grip the barbell in front of you. That might mean separating yourself from the things that weaken you. It could be that Internet site that sucks you in for hours. It could be that extra glass of wine or that bowl of ice cream in the evening or the gossip you trade with your coworker each morning.
Sometimes there’s already sufficient weight on the barbell, and you need only to increase the number of times you lift it. That might mean spending a few extra minutes praying or reading Scripture, attending daily Mass once or twice a week, or occasionally substituting a saint’s biography for the current best seller.
Lifting weights is hard work, and so is battling sin. But you’re not doing it alone. God knows how you are made. He knows the things that weaken you and the things that strengthen you. So think of Jesus as your coach. He is standing right beside you. Let him show you what to lift up and what to put down. He is always ready to help you with his love and grace.
“Lord, I want to be strong enough to resist sin. Show me today how I can grow stronger.”
Daily Thought From The Word Among Us (www.wau.org)