Tuesday 11 September 2007

Perseverance and Character Growth

Sirach--Chapter 2

This is one of my favourite readings from the Septuagint, written circa 190 B.C. With much sobriety and seasoned by his life experience, Sirach helps us see how suffering leads to: a) character growth, b) trust in God, and c) experiencing God's consistent goodness throughout our life span. These truths are a core part of what helps us develop perseverance.
Courage, and don't give up!
My child, if you are going to serve the Lord, be prepared for times when you will be put to the test. 2 Be sincere and determined. Keep calm when trouble comes. 3 Stay with the Lord; never abandon him, and you will be prosperous at the end of your days. 4 Accept whatever happens to you. Even if you suffer humiliation, be patient.
5 Gold is tested by fire, and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation. 6 Trust the Lord, and he will help you. Walk straight in his ways, and put your hope in him.
7 All you that fear the Lord, wait for him to show you his mercy. Do not turn away from him, or you will fall. 8 All you that fear the Lord, trust him, and you will certainly be rewarded. 9 All you that fear the Lord, look forward to his blessings of mercy and eternal happiness.
10 Think back to the ancient generations and consider this: has the Lord ever disappointed anyone who put his hope in him? Has the Lord ever abandoned anyone who held him in constant reverence? Has the Lord ever ignored anyone who prayed to him? 11 The Lord is kind and merciful; he forgives our sins and keeps us safe in time of trouble. 12 But those who lose their nerve are doomed—all those sinners who try to have it both ways! 13 Doom is sure to come for those who lose their courage; they have no faith, and so they will have no protection. 14 Doom is sure to come for those who lose their hope. What will they do when the Lord comes to judge them?
15 Those who fear the Lord do not disobey his commands; those who love him will live as he wants them to live. 16 Those who fear and love the Lord will try to please him and devote themselves to the Law. 17 Those who fear the Lord are always ready to serve him. They humble themselves before him, and say, 18 “We place our destiny in the hands of the Lord, not in human hands, because his mercy is as great as his majesty.”
Reflection and Discussion
Well, what do you think?
What makes the most sense to you and how does it practically apply to your life?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Just what a tired social activist needed to hear. god bless your soul!