by Amanda Michaela Er
The temptation to cling onto hopelessness and defeatism consume spiritual zeal and fervor, turning Christians into disillusioned pessimists. We fall into the trap of relativism, heightened individualism, and a crisis of identity.
Disillusionment happens at a slow, steady pace. What starts out as innocent passivity became an intentional rejection of the existence of God in my life.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not one to stand for mediocrity. Somehow, somewhere along my season of entering the workplace, that missionary zeal dissipated. Being faced with the brunt force of an opposing culture anchored on individualism and relativism, I soon fell into a crisis of my identity. My mind was clouded with doubt in the way I had chosen to live my life thus far. Was I just a sheltered good Christian girl this entire time? Has my understanding of life been one dimensional, and have I not lived enough to understand what is true and real?
Over time, seeds of doubt were planted, grew in my mind, and bore sin in my actions. Exactly like how the EG worded it, I experienced a “heightened individualism, a crisis of identity and a cooling of fervour. These are three evils which fuel one another.” It took root in my “deepest and inmost decisions that shaped [my] way of life, which was acting as if God did not exist.”
“Where sin increased, grace has abounded all the more” (Romans 5:20)
#illustratedtruths: A dove carrying an olive branch, by Amanda Just like the story of Noah’s ark, God promises new beginnings and a hope that prevails.
In that crisis of identity, the reality of my salvation was lost in confusion and hopelessness. I felt defeated, opting instead for a compromised experience of the resurrected life that Jesus had meant for me. In that emptiness, and I found myself left wanting and became painfully aware of what was essential for living – Jesus Christ.
We must not forget that it is precisely in our weakness, that God moves the most powerfully. Failure and sin are but a door to the release of mercy.
We must reject the temptation to live behind the bars of a self-centred lack of trust. Let Christ crucified convince us of the victory which has been won for us on the cross. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of hope!
Deeper water by Ry Cox, covered by Amanda Er
Adapted from Evangelii Gaudium Chapter 2.84-86. Reflection Questions:
- What are you seeking?
- What are you pursuing?
- Where are possible areas of disillusionment?
- Where, in our daily lives, can we live more radically in Christ?
Just a girl trying to make her way in the world with Jesus by her side