The discipleship of the stressed.

It is easy to be righteous when things are calm and life is good and everything is going smoothly. The test is when there is real trial or temptation, when there is pressure and fatigue, anger and fear, or the possibility of real transgression. Can we be faithful then? That is the question because “Israel, Israel, God is calling.” Such integrity is, of course, the majesty of “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” —right when forgiving and understanding and being generous about your crucifiers is the last thing that anyone less perfect than the Savior of the world would want to do. But we have to try; we have to wish to be strong. Whatever the situation or the provocation or the problem, no true disciple of Christ can “check his religion at the door.”

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Israel, Israel, God Is Calling,” devotional address, January 2012, italics in original.
This is why our tendency to do less well when stressed, tired, worn out, or genuinely wronged is so sobering and telling.

Perhaps at least, we can keep wishing, and not use such extenuating circumstances as excuses. While we should welcome God’s mercy on such points, we ought not to be too merciful with ourselves in advance.

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