VICTORY > VICES
The opportunity to learn from & progress past our proclivities
We were created to live a life full of consistent joy, deep satisfaction and adventurous abundance. You and I inherently crave it. But do you know what I end up pursuing on my own? I naturally chase the easy route; settling for temporary fixes, fleeting happiness, gnawing comparisons, and self-destructive addictions. You and I choose to live with or against culture every day, whether we are aware of it or not. From the moment we wake up we can actively pursue the adventurous [often difficult but always fulfilling] life Jesus offers. On the flip side, we can passively allow the world, which is usually easier and more appealing on the surface, to guide our decisions. I don’t know about you but every time I settle for selfishness over selflessness it leads me into insecurity, every time I choose addiction over self-control it leads me into guilt and shame, every time I lash out in bitterness over extending grace I feel hollow. Culture will tell us that these are ok, that we are only human. It will encourage us to fit in instead of clinging to moral high ground. But at the end of the day if we are only living for our temporary desires, we will always be left wanting and empty.
God has saved me from myself, my poor decisions and the consequences that I deserve over and over again. But what He has allowed me to go through has taught me more than I could have imagined. The trials that we so often fight in this world can build unshakeable faith; the journey of overcoming weakness and addiction can develop incredible wisdom and strength; the heartbreak that threatens to ruin us can give way to immeasurable hope. How do we rise instead of crumbling under the devastation and pressure? How do we persevere instead of simply giving up and giving in to something that will numb the pain?
The short answer is Jesus and community. The practical steps to overcoming vary based on circumstances, people, and environment. But that is what we are here for, to discover together, how to stand firm when everything in our heart and emotion tells us to give up. From anxiety to gossip and drinking to sex, I have been overwhelmed by my fair share of vices. The more I fall in this life the more I realize the gravity of God’s grace, and how much I desperately need it. From the smallest white lie to being trapped in life threatening addiction, none of our sin can actually separate us from His unfailing love. I still struggle to grasp that every horrible decision I have made has done nothing to separate me from that love. It truly is scandalous. The more we realize this and remind each other who we really are the better prepared we will be to find victory over any vice.