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Him Who Knows To Do Good

November 14, 2011

James 4:17 “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” This Bible verse has long served to be an inspiration in my life, and I aspire to live by it; I know what is right, and what I can do to better this world and all who are in it, but each day I do not do it; thus, each day, I sin.

To sin is the act of falling short of one’s potential, and of one’s purpose in life. It is human nature to be sinful, because we are all imperfect by nature, and our potential is suppressed and corrupted by our sinful desires and pride. But this path is not good– it’s not right. I struggle each day to free myself of that sin.

Of course, it’s not easy to become free of sin, and some days it feels downright impossible, and at times I feel so weak, vulnerable, and incompetent, that I just give up on my day, and wallow in a depressed state of nihilistic and hateful existential angst; I decide that this day is too difficult, and I’ll never be able to do anything worthwhile, so I might as well just give up and pretend that I don’t really exist, that everything is fake, and that nothing even matters. These are my darkest of days– times where it’s not that I don’t  care, it’s that caring is too difficult, and I run away from my problems.

I know what is right, and I know what I need to do to manifest my purpose, but it often feels too hard, too miserable, too stressful to follow-through with, and so I end up falling short of my potential, thereby bringing insult to my purpose and to my very existence. It’s a really wretched feeling, and I sometimes wish that I could just end it all, so that I didn’t have to deal with this weighted burden of having to live up to such a lofty potential, and so follow-through which such great responsibilities as I am destined to have.

What I really need to do is stop thinking like a pessimist, and start living like an optimist. As one wise man (Winston Churchill) once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” I need to stop seeing all these hardships as obstacles in my life, and start seeing each new “problem” instead as an opportunity to persevere. Once every hardship becomes an opportunity, nothing will discourage me; to the contrary, “wht does not kill me, makes me stronger” (Friedrich Nietzsche).

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