Strengthening the Soul (5)

Do you hesitate about the wrong things?

Sometimes we are more hesitant about doing what is right than doing what we know is wrong.

In other words, we may hesitate greatly to do what we know God wants us to do, while we hardly pause at some opportunities to do wrong.

The itch to sin may feel a lot more intense than the heart felt desire within to live in such a manner as to bring God pleasure.


In his book, The Royal Way of the Cross, Francois Fenelon wrote:

Do you hesitate or resist so much when the world sought to seduce you through its passions and pleasures? Did you resist evil as stoutly as you resist what is good? When it is a question of going astray, consciousness of heart and reason by indulging vanity or sensual pleasure, we are not so afraid of “going too far;” we choose, we yield unreservedly. But when the question is to believe that we, who did not make ourselves, were made by an All-wise, All-powerful Hand to acknowledge that we owe all to Him from Whom we received all, and Who made us for Himself; then we begin to hesitate . . . . (p. 19)

Some of us are more hesitant about being a fully devoted follower of Jesus than we are about sinning.

Some of us fear . . .

. . . that if we yield to God, he will not come through.

. . . that if we surrender to God, what we experience in him will not be as satisfying as indulging in what our flesh wants.

. . . that if we give ourselves over to God, we will give more than we will get.

Fenelon continues:

What are you afraid of? Of leaving that which will soon leave you?

What are you afraid of? Of following too much goodness, finding a too-loving God; of being drawn by an attraction which is stronger than self, or the charms of this poor world?

What are you afraid of? Of becoming too humble, too detached, too pure, too true, too reasonable, too grateful to your Father which is in heaven? I pray you, be afraid of nothing so much as of this false fear–this foolish, worldly wisdom which hesitates between God and self, between vice and virtue, between gratitude and in gratitude, between life and death. (p. 21)


Can you relate to this? Have you ever found yourself hesitating more to do what is right than to do what you know is wrong? What was at work in your thinking/heart at that point?

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One thought on “Strengthening the Soul (5)

  1. I think I resist conflict, regardless of the morality of doing so! Sometimes I resist initiating confrontation even when it is right, although I resist it when such conflict would be wrong as well. My behavior isn’t always tied to the morality of the moment, sometimes it’s just based on what I like.