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The following blog piece comes from The Briefing. This excellent bimonthly periodical comes in a print version, but is also available online. Jean Williams writes:
“None of us wants to be the cause of another person’s sanctification – at least, not unintentionally – and yet, so often, that is what we are.
Is this one of the reasons that God allows us to become weak, dependent and forgetful as we grow older? Is it so we can place a necessary burden on those who were once dependent on us: a burden of forbearance and loving care?
Is this one of the reasons we may have to bear chronic illness or long-term disability? Why we may fight depression or suffer from mental disorders? Why we experience unemployment or material need? We may not want to receive others’ charity and compassion, but in giving these, they grow into who they should be….
My instinct is to conceal my sin, make excuses for my faults, play to my strengths, and deny my dependence. What if, instead, I admitted my weakness, and gratefully accepted your generosity and grace? …
We are not strong; we are weak. We are not sinless; we are sinners. In our attitudes towards those who love and bear with us, we can choose to grow in humility, self-forgetfulness and joy. As we do this, we practise something far more significant: an attitude toward God that helps us to humbly receive his grace.”
The rest of the piece can be viewed here.