paradoxes are hardly surprising; once we begin seeing them there are ever more to see. One such enigmatic paradox is the presence of sin as the invitation toward a God-sanctifying holiness, in the moment; such a momentary holiness is all we can hope for.
Picture these transformations below:
Signs of jealous envy are the opportunities for gratitude.
Gratitude for what we already have amends the need to covet something we don’t have. Jealous envy is a lack, whereas gratitude is the mark of wholeness.
Signs of resentment are the opportunities to forgive.
At the earliest sign of resentment is God’s suggestion for what we should do; there is only one thing for it: humble ourselves and, by our will matched with God’s, forgive.
Signs of anger are the opportunities to be honest.
Enshrouded in fear, anger refuses (albeit proudly) to be honest. Anger is therefore an opportunity. The moment we are honest and we are humbled is the moment anger is overcome.
Signs of resistance are the opportunities to adjust.
We all take time to adjust to change, and the natural response is resistance. But at the first sign of resistance we see, also, the opportunity to make the adjustment.
Signs of brashness are the opportunities to care more.
Sometimes we are burned out from caring; we have no energy to care any longer. But brashness is a sign of the opportunity to simply care more. And we can.
Signs of pride are the opportunities to nurture integrity.
When we put ourselves in the place of God, yet we act sinfully, pride is on the doorstep, and hence the opportunity is to match our thoughts and words with our deeds, which is integrity.
Signs of a lusting heart are the opportunities to cherish chastity.
The lust of the eye and the lust of the heart will be the death of us if we don’t see them as an opportunity to repent by cherishing the holy chastity of God in our mortal beings.
Signs of frustration are the opportunities for patience.
Patience runs thin when we are quickly frustrated, but frustration is the opportunity for patience. We can grow greatly in patience in bouts of great frustration. Many people do.
Signs of worry are the opportunities to pray.
As anxiousness bears itself over our consciousness, our next thought should be to pray. Worrying concern has only one godly response: to pray.
Signs of judging others or self are the opportunities of grace.
When we judge others or ourselves there is a lack deep within us and what we desperately need is grace.
Whenever we do wrong in life that is the opportunity to repent; envy can become gratitude; resentment can become forgiveness; anger can become honesty; pride can become integrity; lust can become chastity; frustration can become patience; and, judgment can become grace.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.