Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Faith and Good Works

I have been thinking a lot about how what we believe translates into everyday life.

I believe that eating my daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables is something I should be doing.  I believe that exercising will keep me healthy and strong.  And I even believe that if my children do something I disagree with that I should love them into doing the thing that is right.

So why is it so easy to eat chocolate when I am hungry, get distracted with life at home instead of going for a walk and yell when we're late and that certain child will.not.get.her.shoes.on. ?

I suppose it is because living what we believe is not always easy.

I think it is easy to question our beliefs when we give into temptations.  Speaking spiritually, when we do something that we know isn't in tune with what our Heavenly Father would have us do we may find ourselves begin to question what we know is true.  Or perhaps worse: we may become complacent.

I have never questioned my faith in God.  That has been a great blessing in my life.  And yet, if I'm not careful I find myself in some state of complacency far too often.  Yeah, yeah, I know I should eat a healthy lunch before I pop chocolate chips into my mouth.  I'll just hurry and do it before anyone sees, because I know I'll eat my veggies.  If the kids ate chocolate chips before lunch they wouldn't eat theirs, but I'm an adult and I... blah, blah, heard that one before.

I think the key to most of life's conundrums is diligence and consistency.  Reading scriptures every day really isn't such a difficult thing if we have made it a priority in our lives and have made time for it.  It's easy to think that we'll get to it after we check our e-mail, but unless we do those little things that matter most first we are treating vital things lightly.

After He is resurrected, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him.  (John 21) This is Peter the rock we are speaking about!  An apostle who had gone through all manner of trials and tribulations in the name of the Lord.  Of course Peter loved his Savior.  What Jesus was asking Peter to do was to act on his love.  To "feed my sheep."  It wasn't enough just to feel something, to know something.  Peter had denied Jesus thrice prior to his Crucifixion, denied although he did know and love his Savior.  Believing isn't enough to change.  Believing won't bring us salvation.  We have to live what we believe.  That is what Peter did from that moment on.  He lived his religion and translated those beliefs into acts.  That is how he became the rock.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:29 says, "If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments."

So how do I use this knowledge to keep those resolutions I made at the beginning of the year?

First I have to change.  I have to believe that I can accomplish those things.  I suppose before that I have to actually want to change.  Not just wish it.  I have to want to be healthier more than I want chocolate.  Then, I make a specific plan as to how I am going to accomplish my goal.  (I.e. stop buying chocolate, and when it shows up, have only one serving after I've had a healthy meal).  I must be diligent and consistent from day to day.

Thankfully there's repentance, but if I really want these things out of life- to become more like Jesus Christ- then I have to translate these goals into daily living.

So here's a kick start from President Thomas S. Monson.


Mostly Jessica said...

Great post!

Bytheway, I'm just finishing a book called "Setting Limits with your Strong-willed Child". I definitely recommend it to you too since our children are kindred spirits :)

K said...

Thanks, Jessica! I'll have to check it out. I've looked at other strong willed books before, but setting limits is definitely a good thing! It's crazy to have 3 strong willed children. We are in big trouble in about 10 years.

Deborah Moore said...

What a wonderful post, and so well written. I know what you mean as far as the gap between the desire/vision of beliefs and actually putting them into practice. The girls and I are all working on one manner a week. Little things at a time, but I still fall back into old habits even with baby steps. Thank goodness we have a whole life and beyond to figure all this stuff out. Thank goodness kids don't have to have perfect parents to thrive.