There are many paths to holiness I realize, but going to speech therapy wasn’t one I had ever thought of before. But recently, all that changed when I realized that what I was learning in speech had greater implications. You see, over time, I had developed some bad speech and singing habits that was damaging my voice and making it hard for me to do my job and enjoy my life. Over the course of a few short weeks with an excellent speech therapist, I was able to become more aware of the bad habits that were harming my voice and learn healthy habits that would heal it.
It wasn’t until the third session though that my spiritual breakthrough occurred. As we were working, the therapist asked me to use my voice the incorrect way that I had been doing before. I was aghast and, frankly, a little afraid. Why would she want me to do the thing she had been trying to teach me not to do? What if I fell back into the bad habit and couldn’t stop myself from doing it again? She explained that by being able to recreate the bad habit, you can be in control of it. If I can control my voice, then I can catch myself when I notice that I’m using bad practices. If I can control my voice for better or for worse, I can actively choose the better habits when I see that I’ve fallen into the bad habits. I don’t have to be afraid that my voice will mutiny on me. I will remain the captain of my own vocal ship!
This got me thinking about sin. There have been times in my life when I’ve definitely struggled with sinfulness. At those times, I didn’t feel in control of myself and my ability to turn away from sin. And that made me scared instead of strong. But I don’t have to be scared by sin and neither do you. I’m not saying that sin isn’t serious. It IS. Or that sin is laughing matter. It ISN’T. But I am saying that we can be in better control of sin by understanding how we tend to fall into sin and by asking the Holy Spirit to help us to stop sinning. The best way to grow in understanding of our own sinfulness is to examine our consciences nightly to help us better see the times when we’ve controlled our sinful nature and the times when it has controlled us. Once we know our sinfulness, our awareness can help us gain control of ourselves. Then, through the sacrament of Reconciliation, the Holy Spirit can heal the wounds of sin and give us the grace we need to reject it easier in the future.
Now I’m not recommending that we all go out and sin so that we can say that we’re in control of ourselves. (Nice try though!) I am saying that by being more aware of sin (or bad vocal habits) we can identify it and control it more easily than if we remain oblivious. Knowledge is power. If we don’t know have knowledge of our sins, how are we going to have power over them? We have to know better to do better.
Have you ever felt out of control of your sinfulness? Did understanding why or how you were sinful help you gain control?
Copyright 2017 Laura B Nelson