I got the basic idea for this blog post from my lovely friend Tae, when she wrote this blog titled Sold Out. The title of her post sparked something in me that I knew I’d been wanting to talk about for a long time. So, I simply typed up my own title, knowing exactly what I wanted it to be, but I couldn’t form the actual blog. There the title sat, that brilliant play on words (excuse me, I seem to have lost my humility). I knew what was coming, I just had to wait it out.
Tonight, though, those words started to literally fall from my fingers. Once in middle school, a boy told me I was “bionic chick” literally just because I was a fast typer (and I have a feeling there was a little crush involved too). Well, mr.immature-boy-from-middle-school, I wish you could see how fast I was typing tonight. You’d be proud.
Anyway, I want to get deep in this post. We need to talk about something we often neglect in this world: our souls. Are we living to help our souls thrive through the Lord or are we simply living for the world, ignoring what’s desperately trying to breath inside of us?
I just had a little discussion tonight about the fact that so many people might identify as a certain religion or say they follow God, but when you look at their actions, it’s the complete opposite. Now, before you go pointing fingers at others, look at yourself. Are you sometimes one of those people I’m talking about? I know I can be.
For example, I identify as a strong Catholic and it’s something I’m super proud of. However, I used to stray so far from the Truth in my actions. All I had was the name, “Catholic”, but no evidence to back up the phrase. I didn’t even go to to Church. As things changed, I eventually found the path I wanted to be on, but it took a while. There were a lot of disgruntling Sundays of me hating being there to finally open up a Bible and realize that wow, there’s a lot more to this than what society will tell you. If I hadn’t stopped listening to them, I never would’ve known that.
Even though I’m a strong, practicing Catholic now, I still have my moments. To be frank: there are many days where I give into the world instead of God. Sometimes, I struggle with gossip; whether that be at work, in class or in other situations. It feels so good to “vent” to people, that you don’t realize what you’re really doing is destroying your soul. (Of course, sometimes you need to objectively talk something out with a friend, but you never need to gossip.)
Gossiping is a choice I make because I see the rest of the world doing it. It creates a temporary high and feeling of relief, but it’s always joined by the pull of regret that I can’t get away from. I betrayed someone else by talking this way about them. It’s something I’d never want to happen to me, but sometimes I’ve got no problem doing it.
My point, though, isn’t about gossip. When I sin, I always fail to look at the bigger picture after. It may seem that I’m not doing anything harmful at the time, but those things cause cracks in your soul. And as you all know; cracks spread. Fast.
So, let’s talk about today’s gospel for a second. I didn’t even plan to write this blog post based around that reading, but I think it fits perfectly.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him.
(comes from Matthew 21:28-32)
If you don’t know the entire reading, I recommend going over it, because this is only a part of the story. However, what Jesus is saying is that there are two types of people; 1. Those who tell the Lord no, but eventually come around when they realize what Truth there is in his words and questions. 2. Those who tell the Lord yes, but don’t follow through with their actions.
Which one are you?
That old me who told everyone I was Catholic but didn’t have any proof to show it; I’d say I was the second person. In fact, I’d say there’s still lots of instances where I am that person.
Why? Because I’m choosing to live for the world instead of for the Lord. I do things because the rest of my friends are doing them, even if it’s something I don’t necessarily agree with. I sit quietly while people talk badly about my faith, because I know I’ll instantly be an outsider if I stand up for it. I would sometimes rather be liked by other people than do God’s will.
And yet, I still go to church those weeks, skipping confession, and call myself a Catholic. Do I think I always deserve the title? Heck no.
I’m not going to lie to you: in the moments where I’m unknowingly “selling out my soul”, I feel happy. I know I’m doing these things so that people will like me, and that makes me feel content. But something always comes over me afterward that makes me literally go, “oh crap.” That feeling of content isn’t actually true at all; it comes from the devil and from myself. I got my instant gratification, but I wasn’t living for the Lord. And the worst part is that I lied and told everyone (including myself), that I was.I got my instant gratification, but I wasn't living for the Lord. Click To Tweet
Now, I know there are many more extreme examples than what I go through in my life. For example, I see it in religions and belief systems that are completely centered around making yourself whole, not living for others. It’s also there in the selfishness and self-righteousness that many people exude every day, whether they realize it or not. (And hey, I’m not leaving myself out of that category, because sometimes it’s what I exude too.)
There are people who put a huge value on worldly things. They believe that those things are going to make them whole, when really the only person who can do that is God. Honestly, I’d even dare to say that that belief system has become the norm today.
The biggest lie we can believe is that we’re not on Earth to live for others, because others will just screw us over (aka: live for yourself). In fact, I think one of the most dangerous things we can do in life is live for ourselves and not for others.one of the most dangerous things we can do in life is live for ourselves and not for others. Click To Tweet
Maybe you’re not in that extreme or maybe you are but don’t realize it; wherever you fall on the line of “selling yourself out,” keep your soul in check. If you can live each day of your life and come the end with your soul in tact (at least most of it), I think you will have succeeded.
Lastly, I’m not sitting here writing this and trying to condemn you. I have struggles just like the rest of you and that’s okay. That’s exactly why we need the Lord. However, we can’t and shouldn’t ignore the fact that it’s dangerous to live for the world and not realize it, or knowingly live for the world, telling yourself it’s okay.
What are we doing to our souls when we do that?