From today’s readings in Romans, are we slaves to sin or slaves to obedience? How can we know? 
 
Sterling shares how we can saturate our minds with scripture to help us not be slaves to sin. How can we take the truths from the Bible and let them turn us into weapons of righteousness?

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Hi, and welcome to the made for greatness podcast. I’m your host Sterling Jaquith. And this is episode 51, who is your master. And I want to update you on the podcast and how we store it on our website because we haven’t mentioned it in a while, but if you’re listening to an episode and you really like it, and you want some notes, or maybe we referenced something, it is always found at made for greatness dot C O slash the number of the episode. So this is episode number 51. So you can find it@madeforgreatness.com slash 51. So I just wanted to mention that because I hadn’t said that in a while. So today I want to talk about who is the master of your life. And this comes from today’s readings. What will be October 20th? And I’m just going to read part of it. It was long, but it talks about from Romans chapter six, verse 12 through 18 brothers and sisters, sin must not reign over your mortal bodies so that you obey their desires and do not present the parts of your bodies to sin as weapons for wickedness, but present yourselves to God as raised from the dead to life and the parts of your bodies to God, as weapons for righteousness for sin is not to have any power over you since you are not under the law, but under grace.

And then it continues what then shall we sin? Because we are not under the law, but under grace, of course not. Do you not know that if you present yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey either of sin, which leads to death or of obedience, which leads to righteousness. But thanks be to God that although you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of teaching, to which you were entrusted freed from sin. You have become slaves of righteousness. And I just love all of this so much. I’m sure I’ve read it before, but it feels new to me today. And it feels especially relevant to wake up every morning and deciding how am I going to live my life today? And of course, none of us wake up and think, am I going to be a slave to sin or a slave of righteousness today?

Most of us wake up and we immediately begin thinking of the things that were undone or feeling so tired, dreading something that’s coming, feeling excited about something that’s coming. We have all these thoughts about the day. And oftentimes we have many thoughts about ourselves. I don’t think any of us are really asking ourselves who is my master today? Am I going to use my body as a weapon for righteousness or as a weapon for wickedness? And I love that. It talks about how we should present ourselves to God as if we were raised from the dead to life. And of course, because he sent his Son into the world to die for our sins. That is what has happened. Like the moment you choose to believe in God and you repent and you believe in the gospel story and you believe that God sent his Son into the world to die for our sins.

It is as if at that moment you are raised from the dead to life. He came that he may give us eternal life. He came to conquer death, and I don’t know about you, but when I get sick or when I have a migraine, or even if I just have really painful cramps, it’s so awful and uncomfortable and painful to go through that. When that pain is finally lifted and I feel better again, and I’m don’t have a fever or I don’t have cramps, or I don’t have a migraine, I am filled with gratitude and joy. I want to spring up from my bed and clean the house and dance with the children and kiss my husband. And I’m just so happy that I’m no longer sick and in pain. And that is exactly what Christ did for us, but on an internal level, literally infinitely more than a headache or being sick.

What he did for us was infinitely bigger. He has raised us from the dead to eternal life, and that is something that happens over and over and over again, because I think as this reading points out, we give ourselves over to sin, but then, and it says, thanks be to God. Although you were one slave of sin, you have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of the teaching, to which you were entrusted. And what that means is the church. It gives us the truth. It gives us the sacraments and it gives us this roadmap for how we can bring ourselves back to God, ask for forgiveness. He washes us clean of that sin. And right then at that moment, we are once again raised from the dead to life. Because at that moment, presumably we can’t always know, and we’re not God, but we would die in a state of grace.

And we get to choose that all the time we get to turn our hearts toward sin, or we get to turn our hearts away from sin toward God, ask for forgiveness, be cleansed of our sin, and then use our bodies for righteousness. And imagine the battles we would wage in the world. If we really, really understood this idea that we could be sinning and meant for return in attorney in hell and then because of God and his goodness and the passion we are now meant for eternity with the Lord. And I don’t know how often that is actually happening, right? Like, is that happening many times throughout the day? Does that happen? You know, many times in the week or the month or in our lifetime? I don’t really know. The point is I don’t know that I’ve ever woken up with the joy of knowing I was raised from the dead. We turn life and I went into the world to use my body as a weapon for righteousness.

I probably have gotten more excited about not having a migraine than having the actual elation that would come with really processing what God has done for us. Now I have a deep love for the Lord because I do understand this. I think I feel a lot of warmth and love towards him, but I don’t know that I’ve really sat with this idea. I certainly didn’t wake up this morning thinking, oh my goodness, Lord, thank you. Thank you for raising me from the dead. I was crumpled and decaying and meant for something terrible and painful because of you and your goodness. Now I am meant for something beautiful and amazing and deeply satisfying. And I think it’s fair to say, Hey, some of this stuff, it’s pretty complicated. Some of this stuff is the currency of God. I don’t really understand it. And that’s okay. I don’t believe that we need to deeply understand all of these theological concepts. Some people enjoy learning about them and you can go and dig even more deeply. And God is always there to meet us with our religion and our traditions and our great texts and the church fathers.

Right? But all you need to know is that Jesus died for you and your sins so that you may have eternal life with him and you don’t even need to understand how that works. You just need to believe it and continue to bring yourself on your knees in front of the Lord with great humility to say, I am a sinner, please forgive me. And so I want to challenge each one of you today, as you go about your day and even for the rest of the week, picture what it feels like when you have a really bad headache and it finally goes away, or you’ve been really sick for a few days or even two weeks, and you finally get better or you’ve had surgery and you were in a lot of pain as you were waiting for your body to heal. And then it does eventually heal.

I can imagine that. I can imagine the joy that I feel in my body. It feels warm and bursting, and I’m always smiling like a fool. And I’m just so happy to be alive. And I thought it was interesting when I read these readings, huh? I don’t know that. I feel that way about getting to live for eternity. And I’m okay with that right now. I’m okay that I don’t fully understand that, but it gives me something to talk to God about. And I think what I want to tell the Lord is, you know, Lord, I’m sorry that I have not been so excited about this truth. I’m still processing it. I love you. I do believe that it’s true. And I’m working on living as though I know it’s true because God always meets us where we’re at. So he’s not condemning us because we haven’t totally figured it out. But he also wants to be our friend. And the way it looks to be friends with God is just like this. Just to talk to him about things that you’re grappling with. When you’re thinking about moving to another state, you go to your friends and you talk about it. You say I don’t know, we really love our parish here, but I think we’d be closer to my parents. They’re nervous about asking the kids to move, right? We just chat about it with our friends and you can do that about anything with the Lord.

You can chat about anything that you want. So even if you have not completely figured out how to wake up with a spring in your step, smiling at the incredible truth that God has raised us from the dead. And even if you’re not quite sure what it means to use your body as a weapon for righteousness, the world sounds pretty cool. Like a comic book story. I want you to ask yourself, who am I a slave to?

What desires am I obeying? Is it my desire for earthly things? Or is it my desire for the Lord? And I think we have to be careful when we ask these questions, not to tend toward scrupulosity, and not to drown ourselves in guilt and shame on top of all the guilt and shame we already feel. But really just to have a good examination just to say, am I a slave to my calendar? Am I a slave to the way that I look, am I a slave to making money? Am I a slave to keeping the peace with my husband at all, costs communication with husbands is important then maybe you just don’t want to rock the boat? So you spend a lot of time worrying about not rocking the boat. Are you a slave to entertainment or comfort and those things aren’t bad. In fact, I think leisure is very important and I think God gives us a lot of comforts to which we can turn right around and express our gratitude. But when we turn away from God to pursue entertainment or comforts, that is where we want to check in with ourselves.

Are we giving things to God? Are we understanding that we were born slaves of sin, but it is because of him that we have our freedom? And I love this phrase. You have become obedient from the heart to the pattern of the teaching, to which you are entrusted. And this is in the Bible. So I think that they mean the teaching to which we were entrusted was the gospel message, probably everything in the Bible, but particularly the gospel message. We were entrusted with that teaching and we can put the pattern of that teaching on our hearts. We can inscribe it there.

We can match the rhythm of our living, to the pattern, this teaching, to be like Christ, to exhibit the fruits of the holy spirit, to love our neighbor as ourselves. There is just so much wisdom in the gospels and we get to be obedient from our hearts to that pattern, to that wisdom, to that teaching, to which we have been entrusted. What is the pattern of your heart? If I were to open up your heart, what would I see there? What rituals do you have? What do you protect? What patterns, what I see as we’re heading into Thanksgiving and here in Northern Idaho, it’s very rainy today. And so I’m feeling a slowing down as we often do in fall, but in particular, in Thanksgiving, as we head into, you know, October and November, something about the changing color of the leaves is what reminds me of gratitude. And I think it’s because we do so many fall time crafts with the kids, writing things we’re thankful for I’m leaves hard on pumpkins or letters at school. So this time of year, especially once I see the colors, it just turns my mind to being so grateful.

And while we can be grateful for our families and the people who love us and the things that God has given us, and even the life circumstances, he surrounded us with. There’s so much to be grateful for, but this, this teaching to which we have been entrusted, the gospel message, the truth that God has raised us from the dead to life. How does the thing we should be most grateful for? That should be the biggest pattern someone sees when they look at your heart and as a mindset coach, I know that what we believe is made up of thoughts that we practice over and over again.

And I know that God knew that about us. And so he says the same things in the Bible over and over again. He’s like, Hey, you knuckleheads that. I love so much. I’m going to say it a lot of times. So you get it. And of course, in the beginning, you know, the Bible was passed on orally. And so people would sit around and they would hear these stories over and over again. They would saturate their minds with these words, which is another way of saying they would practice thinking them over and over again. And we don’t do that anymore. We don’t sit around listening to the stories of the Bible.

And so you have to do that for yourself. You can listen to the Bible in a year with father Mike Schmitz, you can read the daily readings, you can grab your Bible and just read a little bit of the gospels every day. I want you to fill your mind with the words of God and not only will that strengthen your belief that he came to die for your sins, that you may have eternal life. And I think really believing that would begin to shift your life so that you were a slave to sin less often and a weapon for righteousness more often.

And the other thing that will happen is the more you fill your mind with thoughts of the Bible and true and holy and beautiful and good thoughts, there will just be less space for you to think garbage thoughts about how you’re not good enough. Something’s wrong with you. You’re not a good mom feeling fearful about the future of our country. You will have less space for that because you will spend more time thinking God loves me. And he told me not to be afraid. He told me that I can trust him that I can have peace in any storm, but I was made for a time such as this. And I was fearfully and wonderfully made that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I want to invite you to become a woman of the word of God, a Bible, reading Catholic, someone who chooses to fill her mind with scripture, instead of lies someone who is constantly asking herself, what am I being a slave to right now? I like to ask that question and myself when I’m feeling really upset. Cause I know when I’m really upset, I don’t have peace. I’m not walking with the holy spirit. So I must be focusing on something or believing something that isn’t true. It’s like an ask myself, what am I being a slave to right now?

I want to invite you to grow closer with God this month and masters, we’re focusing on the model and managing our minds. We’re calling it back to basics because we’re going deeper into the main tool that we teach. And we’re doing that so that women can quiet their minds and really prepare themselves for the holiday season because the holiday season is so sparkly. It’s so loud. It’s so fraught with challenging situations and difficult relationships. And so we wanted it to build a firm foundation of women managing their minds. So there are 10 days left in October. So if you’d like to join us and do that as a group, it is not too late. And then starting in November, we are going to be focusing on planning for the holidays. So we’re going to kick it off with a really fun holiday planning workshop on November 6th, which is a Saturday.

So it’ll be a Saturday morning and we are going to help you plan how to get on the same page as your husband, how to make a plan for your money, your food, your liturgical living, you know, how many of us get to our lady of Guadalupe day? And we’re like, oh shoot, I love that. The stay. And I totally forgot. Well, we’re going to have you pick the ones that you want and we ask you, what do you need to get out of storage? What do you need to buy? What do you need to prepare the day before so that you head into the holiday season armed with a plan? We also take you through an exercise with your calendar. So we make sure that the only things that you say yes to are things you really, really want to say yes to.

We talk about parenting adult children during the holidays and managing difficult situations and difficult relationships. There will be a lot of COVID things this year’s travel. And so we’re actually going to be doing a free workshop for everybody. That means you. Next week, October 26th at eight 30 Pacific, less stress in the holidays. So I’m going to give you some really good practical tips in that workshop. You guys know, I always do. I always give you really fantastic things that you can walk away with for my workshops. And then if you want to go even deeper and you want to come do the planning with us, you can join masters. We’re going to start doing that on November 6th. And then I’m very excited that Larissa is going to be running an eight-week holiday weight loss challenge. And that will start on November 1st. So you want to be in right for the first cause that kicks off right then.

But listen, a lot of us just resign ourselves to gaining pounds over the holidays and it gets cold and we want to wear comfy sweaters and eat bread and cheese and cookies. And we just kind of allow ourselves to do it, but you don’t need to do that. If you want to lose weight, especially if you have more than 20 pounds to lose and you’re heading into November and December, I just want you to know, you’ll have to gain weight. You could lose 10 pounds over the holidays. You could be 10 pounds lighter for January, or you could be 10 pounds heavier. It’s totally up to you. But if you want to get together with some faithful Catholic women who are saying no to cookies, and you can have a cookie, you can eat whatever you want on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and you could still lose weight over the holidays.

Then come join us in masters. We’re going to be doing that starting November 1st. So November is all about planning, planning for food and money, and calendars. The weight loss challenge kicks off in November. First. The workshop kicks off on November 6th and then we’re going to have a really fun party, a virtual zoom party because it’s 2021 where we all bring our advent and liturgical living ideas and share them. And I went to an in-person party that did that once, maybe like six years ago. And it was so fun. So we’re going to be doing that as a community. And I’m really excited about that. All right, you guys, you can go to made for greatness.co and click on workshops and sign up for less stress for the holiday’s workshop, which will be Tuesday, October 26th. And then you can join us for masters. If you would like more peace during the holiday season, I promise it’s possible and we can help you. And together as a community, we can say we will no longer be a slave to the commercialization of the holidays and the idol of busy-ness and the American stress that people wear as a badge, we will say, no, we will choose peace and joy and self-control and love because the world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness. Have a blessed day.