Dear People Whom God Loves,
How is will power valuable in this journey? I would put it this way. We need a willingness to look at ourselves honestly and a willingness to grow in this area. Indeed, even here the Love that we name God helps us in this willingness. That is why we call it grace.
Will power becomes problematic when we try to overcome these “capital sins” by the force of our will. What is the problem here? Often we will not curb these impulses very well. They are strong and will power is often no match for them.
Let us suppose that we are reasonably successful in not getting into bad behavior by our will power. I still see a problem. We will likely be very proud of how we have conquered this problem. Since these impulses have been suppressed and not integrated, we will likely become very judgmental and in our pride we will hurt other people (and ourselves) in a different way. Will power is good but it is not the full answer to spiritual growth.
Another difficulty is that we will not be grateful. Why, because we think that we have done it by ourselves. Being grateful is one of the signs of spiritual growth. When we are proud we probably won’t be grateful. When we are grateful we are not likely to be proud.
Next time we will look at another way of approaching this problem. That is by the way of integration.
Smile, God Loves You,