“Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen” (The Book of Common Prayer, Second Sunday of Lent).
Why is it that the harder you try not to laugh the more you end up laughing? It seems especially true when you’re in a place where laughter is completely inappropriate yet you just can’t help yourself.
I know for me sometimes that the more I try to do good and be good, the more I find the not so good showing up in me (or to use an old fashioned word that’s definitely considered politically incorrect, sin).
Christianity isn’t about trying harder and being more moral or keeping rules for the sake of keeping rules. It’s not about God helping those who help themselves (which isn’t even in the Bible– Benjamin Franklin said it). FYI, if we could help ourselves, we wouldn’t have needed God or faith or Christianity to begin with.
Christianity is all about those who know they can’t help themselves (in every sense of the word). It’s for all those who’ve tried and failed so many times they’ve lost count.
Christianity is about how Jesus has already done for us what we could never hope to do for ourselves. It’s His resurrection power that enables us to live right because it’s His life in us.
It’s about God promising to finish the good work He started in us long ago and keeping His promise because God is a Promise Keeper.