"Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand."
2 Corinthians 1:24
We've talked a little bit about how unbelief can block our progress, which it talks about a little as well in one of the cross-references to this verse (Romans 11:20), but I liked this verse because it takes the same concept and looks at the positive side of it. It is our belief, and faith (basically applied belief... belief that compels us to action) that is behind all that we do. Because faith is at the core of not only the gospel but ... well, still definitely the gospel, but gospel in a much larger sense that encompasses all of life and God's creation. If we don't believe in miracles and behave in our lives as though they can and will happen, then we lose access to that power. Not that we have to be perfect at it. Mark 9:23-24 illustrates this nicely:
"Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
It's definitely a process, and we have to practice faith to learn more confidence and trust in the Lord, and part of that practice is trusting the commandments and living the gospel... as Paul explains, it isn't about dominion. It is about helping to increase everyone's joy. :)
I saw something on Facebook today that was saying, to paraphrase, that life isn't about needing to change who you are, but instead accepting yourself as you are. And I think that statements like that are such a tool of Satan. It's partial, but slightly twisted, truth mixed with pernicious and damaging falsehood. Obviously and clearly there is truth in the fact that we shouldn't hate ourselves and feel like we need to change ourselves to fit in with the cool kids, or give up on life because we feel alone and unaccepted. But it is a total and complete lie to think that everything we are is golden and we don't need to change anything as well. We all have to grow and learn and become. We change in our lives... getting better or worse, not just standing still and learning to accept that stagnation. We don't just learn to accept the fact that we're barely literate in kindergarten. We learn. If we just learned to accept our social knowledge and behavior at 13, we'd have some social issues into adulthood. Instead, we learn, we grow. We become. If we have a tendency to lie or steal as kids, we learn the consequences and we almost always choose to change and grow into better, more trustworthy people. Learning to accept that behavior from ourselves would be doing ourselves a disservice.
Today, let's allow God and the gospel to help our joy. Let's have faith in God, and in repentance, and in our ability to change into better people with God's help. We should of course remember that we are children of God and that we are of infinite worth. God loves us, and he loves us enough to help us learn and grow and grow up. He won't leave us in kindergarten forever. Let's trust and believe and have faith in something greater than this... something better than we could ever be alone.