How to Make REAL Changes This Year

By pintswaquinas January 16, 2024

As Christians, we always need to be seeking conversion in Christ. But two major temptations can hinder us when we’re trying to grow closer to God. They are really two extremes that we need to avoid in order to receive the graces necessary to genuinely convert more deeply to Christ. Let’s examine both of them.

Giving up on Conversion
This often happens when we find ourselves back in the same place over and over again without seeing real change. It can occur after we’ve stayed up too late the night before or resumed bad habits, and we’re ready for the day to be over before it even begins.

We find ourselves saying, “Sure, I was excited and fiery for the faith at the beginning. But it’s been a year (or five or 10 or 25 years), and I’m not living any differently. Why get my hopes up that anything will change?”

Naive “Positive Thinking”
This temptation often comes about when we’re not taking the spiritual journey seriously enough. It makes us assume things will get better without us making any changes to our lives.

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This person will be convinced that this time, their faith will stick, and their virtue will grow. The problem is they haven’t worked on their habitual sins at all, they haven’t tried to get rid of their unhealthy habits, or they haven’t even started praying! This temptation leads to a presumption that God will make us holy without our accepting and surrendering to His will and workings in our lives.

The Right Way
In reality, neither approach leads to real conversion. It’s true that sometimes we can’t see how God is working in our lives and that sometimes we feel like we’re in a rut. But we should consider the story of the Incarnation. Nobody- including Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, and even Mary- saw it coming. God surprised everyone at the perfect moment, even though it had been a long time since His prophecy had been made.

We also can’t forget that accepting the Lord’s grace and working in our soul is a real step in our conversion. We must persevere, do the work, and endure in true Christian hope. The Lord is faithful and He will make you a saint if you let Him.

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