By Daniel Francis
I wanted to share some reflections that have been on my mind. You see, being a coach demands of me a certain level of self-awareness. As a coach, how can you guide someone to become their best self when you don’t practise what you preach, right?
I am constantly questioning the role socialisation has on our behaviour and how it encourages us to live a life of sin.
It all started with a thought-provoking post on Instagram that I stumbled upon. The post helped me to put all the little pieces I had floating around in my head together into a whole thought.
I realised that Satan had made sin look normal. I have found myself in situations where I knew my actions were not aligned with my faith, yet I incorrectly convinced myself that it was just the way things were. I believe many of us can relate to this.
A conversation I had with a friend recently comes to mind. She was dating someone that she knew she could not envision a future with, but she loved how he treated her. He was completely unaware of her true feelings and thus continued to court her with genuine enthusiasm.
I asked her if she felt guilt about lying to this poor guy and she was puzzled by my question. She could not see how she was lying to him. I reminded her that the absence of honesty was still deceit, and she was indeed lying.
By not expressing her true feelings, she was leading him on. She did not see it that way and I saw what to me was a glaring example of how we normalise sin. She even went as far to say my level of honesty is laughable and extreme.
Satan has found a way to make righteousness, honesty, love, and all these other beautiful qualities appear strange. As a result, we find a stock of people who are engaging in activities that are moulding them into the image of the world that is rooted in sin.
This realisation saddens me because it also puts pressure on those who are trying to stay on the right path to feel ostracised. I felt a bit embarrassed when my friend said that I was being extreme in my thinking, but the more I think about it the more I believe that we need to re-evaluate what we accept as normal.
The believer’s strategy is to combat what is perceived as normal and not conform to all of the ways of the world. It is about being selective about what shows you watch, what music you listen to, what events you go to, and even with whom you interact.
Easier said than done, right? When I look at this situation, I see the generations of socialisation that have gone into making sin look normal. We now need a heavy intervention as a Catholic community to help slowly whittle away at the accepted norms.
I recall whenever I went on a church retreat, it felt like I was closest to God. The week after that I was more sensitive to sin. For example, it was difficult to be around friends who cursed, listened to certain music or even be in certain spaces.
That is because when we participate in activities that are of God we are being moulded in His image and in a faith-centred state we more easily reject what is not of God. On the other hand, as we accept the norms of the world, we are allowing ourselves to be moulded in the image of this world.
As usual, it comes down to choice. Each day you are choosing to be moulded in God’s image by your actions or to play into Satan’s hands and be moulded by sin.
I hope this article opens your eyes and you choose wisely.
Daniel Francis is a millennial helping other millennials. He is a two-time author of the books The Millennial Mind and The Millennial Experience, and an entrepreneur. Over the past four years, he has served as a Personal Development Coach whose work targets Millennials and helps them tap into their full potential. He is also a Self-publishing coach and has guided hundreds on self-publishing their book successfully.
LinkedIn: Daniel Francis