Continuing with the exploration and reflection through a series of articles written in a conversational language about Catholicism, about God, about Jesus, about the Church and many other faith related topics. Here we present:
Question 49 – Is being a Christian above all a matter of doing your best?
If you read in the Bible*, you will quickly come to a shocking discovery. You will notice that God* loves people very much and gives them new opportunities time and time again. The people in the Bible, for their part, are constantly getting it wrong. They answer God’s love and faithfulness often with betrayal and infidelity, even though they would often want it to be different. In the life of Jesus*, people’s refusal to do what God asks of them culminates when they kill him. All of Jesus’ good friends are fleeing. The news of the resurrection* is received with unbelief. Each time Jesus takes the first step and gives new confidence and new opportunities.
In short, people want to choose the good, but on their own strength they can hardly do so, no matter how much they desire it. Certainly, it is not easy to be a Christian today, but, in fact, it has never been easy.
Is being a true Christian impossible? Certainly not. There is a good reason for this. Christians do not only believe that God is completely present in Jesus. They also believe that to this day God wants to live in every person, literally as in a house. And that he wants to give each person the strength to live well. This explains why it is that Christians often feel powerless and helpless with what the Gospel* asks of them. And that, at the same time, they ultimately turn out to be able to do much more than they had thought, often to their own surprise. Christians call that constant help from God his grace*.
– Do you think it is possible to really live like Jesus?
– God’s grace, does that mean anything in your life?
Watch this space! Coming up: Question 50 – Can Christians learn from other religions?
Follow these links to go back to previous questions
If you wish to learn more about this resource follow this link “52 Questions and Answers about faith”
About the author:
Nikolaas Sintobin, SJ, joined the Society of Jesus in 1989, following a short career as a lawyer. He was trained as a Jesuit in Brussels, Paris, and Santiago de Chile. Today he is a spiritual director who is keenly interested in online ministry and discovering new ways to help people find God.
This text is republished with the permission of Messenger Publications, Ireland. To buy a hard copy of the book click here.