Grace to you!
Recently, a friend got a ticket for crossing double lines on a highway. You know that feeling of “Oops! The cops! Please have mercy…” His violation was way beyond the officer’s clemency. He knew the ticket was coming. Surely it did.
By the time the bill came, at least $500 of hard earned money was gone. He had the choice to go to a driving school; otherwise, the violation would be in his driving history. He chose to go to the driving school. Smart. The lesson he learned at the school is my inspiration for telling this story.
After the driving school, a happy and confident friend shared how grateful he is he got the ticket.
“How do you mean?” I asked.
“I didn’t know that I didn’t know many rules about driving these days,” he replied.
It’s been long he went to driving school and he seems not sure what certain rules are.
“After attending the driving school,” he continued, “ I have become absolutely confident about myself at the wheel. Sighting cops, going through unmarked roads, I know exactly what the rules are. The knowledge of the rules has made me freer and increased my confidence level at the wheel,” he concluded.
Ironical, isn’t it?
Confidence grows by knowledge. If you know what you should know, you are freer to follow the paths you know you should. Making better choices become easier. Being more informed is a plus. Self-confident people are self-aware; their confidence grows with knowledge and experience.
Many people are threatened by the concept of the law. We know, as Saint Paul said, simply following the law doesn’t justify believers (Romans 3:20). He would also say that the knowledge of the law is death, meaning that if there were no law, there wouldn’t be the knowledge of its violation – sin. And the just God wouldn’t punish either. But this is too simplistic an interpretation of the bible.
A more Christ-like attitude is one based on the positive spirit for which the law has been given. It isn’t a testament of death, but of love and life – to show us the way to live. When a scholar of the Law asked Jesus what he must do to gain eternal life, did Jesus not summarize it in two positive responses, based on the law – love of God and love of neighbor? (See Luke 10:25-37)
Jesus even showed him that the love of neighbor isn’t simply regarding a fellow brother from the same family, race or clan, but anyone who is a human being. God’s Law makes us free for love. Remember that beautiful biblical passage: “They shall know the truth and the truth shall make them free” (John 8:32).
Knowing what God expects from us is a confidence builder. This is not only in the moral sense, but also in spiritual discernment. Many times I have listened to the agonies of people who wonder – I am not sure what God wants me to do now? Such a feeling could be frustrating.
But for those who know the will of God, the law of God, and are so familiar with how God relates to them, their faith is a different story. Their spiritual life is admirable. It’s like a house built on a solid foundation.
I pray you know the law of God and the will of God, so much so that you are confident about what God expects of you. Thus, through the power of God’s grace and the Spirit, you live freely what you know. Amen.
Be a confident believer.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.