“He has a good heart.” This is a common expression that all too often expresses what is not seen or heard. “Deep down he is a good person,” is another one.
Today, the Lord asks us to be honest and faithful even in the little things. What does it take? What must I do? St. Paul writes, “I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient. I know how to live in humble circumstances; I know how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret…” (Phil 4:10-19).
What secret? Please tell us! The secret of St. Paul’s success is that in all things, in all circumstances and with all people, he lives, breathes and moves for Christ. It does not matter at all if he is hungry or well fed, humiliated or exalted. Paul lives for Christ. “It is no longer I who live in me, but Christ who lives in me.” Or, as his letter states to the Philippians, “I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.”
Discipline yourselves children! Discipline yourselves! Do not live for the moment. Do not live for the next high, the next TGIF special! Do not live your life based on your emotions, sentiments, or feelings. Feelings come and go and make you unreliable to others, especially to God. Feelings of weakness or of strength, entitlement or emptiness, position and authority or humiliation and disappointment are not the storms that make or break the ROCK of the Christian. Our life must be a life based on Christ, the cornerstone, the God who will “fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19).
The Lord demands discipline from all his disciples! That is, to be disciplined in our relationship with Him and with others. Disciplined thoughts produce disciplined people. Disciplined people produce disciplined actions.
Jim Collins in his book, “Good to Great”, asks the million dollar question: “Why did certain companies fall while others succeeded?” I really believe this question could be asked at the individual level. That is, “Why do certain individuals succeed while others fail?” I think the answer is the same for both.
· Riding on the coat tails of others (feeding off of others)
· Undisciplined pursuit of more (wanting more and more, while giving less and less)
· Denial of risk and peril (fooling oneself with sin)
· Doing anything to survive! (breaking the Commandments)
· Capitulation or giving up! (becoming the victim, blaming others)
In all of this, you can see FIVE REASONS WHY WE CAN’T MOVE FORWARD:
1. A LACK OF DESIRE to become one with God
2. We RELY way too much on others instead of prayer
3. We PREFER passions, feelings and emotions instead of zeal and surrender.
4. We become DEAD to God’s Will and alive to our own.
5. Our meditations fail. If I do not meditate, how will I remember the love of God in my life?
I cannot serve two masters: God and mammon. I cannot have a divided heart. One will end up dominating the other. God knows our hearts. He made them. Do not allow one speck of sin to cover a multitude of love and grace that the Lord wishes to bestow on you today. Rise up to the challenge. Discipline your life. Renew your commitments. Allow the good heart that is in you to radiate the love of God through you and beyond you!