Seeker of Truth

For those who sincerely seek the truth, and only the truth. All are welcome, Christians, non-Christians, pagans, atheists, agnostics. etc. We hope you will find what you seek for.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Spiritual Willpower

We all are at least familiar with the word "willpower". The power of the will is quite a valued prize among us. Modern society gives higher respect, confers higher honor on people who are deemed or judged to be people with strong willpower.

And for good reason.

It is observable that those with strong willpower are usually the ones who excel in what they do. They are considered the achievers in our society.

Leadership skills alone demand a leader whose willpower is at least above the average. Nobody follows a weak-willed leader.

But when we speak of willpower in general, we have to mention the most important aspect of it - spiritual willpower.

What is spiritual willpower?

Spiritual willpower can be said to be that part of our overall willpower that protects us from sin and temptation. It is that ability inside of us that somehow acts to resist being tempted into sin.

We all can observe this and cannot deny it. It's like that inner strength that refuses to simply allow us to fall into errors and sin. Without it, sin would be this irresistible candy we cannot refuse!

Theology teaches us that the original sin we inherited from our first parents, Adam and Eve, has weakened us spiritually. Our intellects were darkened, our willpower weakened.

Sure, the sacrament of baptism is there particularly to remove original sin. However, it doesn't mean we suddenly transform into perfect creatures. The "scars" of original sin are still there.

To better understand this, we can compare this to a pet dog who runs over a newly-cemented floor. You would instinctively tend to your pet dog, washing its feet with water before the cement hardens.

However when you go back to the cement floor, your dog's footprints are all over the now-hardened cement floor.

In baptism, original sin is removed from us. But its footprints are all over us.

Our sinful nature affected our willpower. Man and women were created in the image and likeness of God, yes, but original sin did affect us in a negative way and weakened our willpower (especially spiritual willpower).

But God will only give us tests and allow temptations only within our spiritual limits and never beyond it. So whenever we are tempted and fall into sin, we cannot point a finger and say "The snake made me do it" or "Blame it on my original sin nature".

Rather, any sin is always out of free will. That's the importance of free will. Point the finger at yourself.

Remember that when God caught Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit, Adam pointed to Eve as tempting him. Eve in turn pointed a finger at the snake (the Evil One in disguise of course).

Well if snakes had fingers, who do you think he'd point it at? (Not that there was anybody left to point it at except God!)

It's always easier to blame others, right? It's more convenient to point the finger at the "snake" than blame ourselves.

So don't take it for granted that God gave us this special grace called "spiritual willpower". It is also related to what we call "conscience". Spiritual willpower is that frontline defense we have against fallacies, temptations, and sin.