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Competition and Sanctification

I am starting a relationship with a new spiritual director (SD). I'm very excited.

In our first conversation, I mentioned some of the areas in which I think I need to work. Her direction is inspired by the Holy Spirit and rooted in the Enneagram. I mentioned my Enneagram type to her in this first chat and then discussed some of the things on which I want to reflect and dig deeper spiritually.

Important facts:

1. My Enneagram type is very competitive (3). That sense of competition can have an inward or outward focus.

2. I don't like to do things that I think I should OR that I enjoy if I am not as good at them as I think I should be.

So, I was talking to SD about my struggle with spiritual disciplines. She immediately commented, "It seems like you're very competitive- especially with yourself."

I replied, "Yes. If you ask me, though, I will tell you that I'm not competitive. I'm especially less competitive than you!"

We laughed, but I've reflected on that deeply in the past week.

I do compare myself to others, but I've learned to be gentle in those comparisons and to seriously reflect on my own achievements and location as a child of God. Yet, I still struggle with being further behind than I think I should be in a variety of areas.

In my mind, sanctification is God's embrace of us as we are and push/pull through the Spirit to bring us into a new fullness (read:better state) of being.

I struggle with sanctification. I've just realized that. I want to be further along than I am, so I paradoxically regress out of shame.

In that, I am refusing grace. I am scurrying on my little wheel and angry that I'm not in the next room. I wrestle with God's pace for me, because I [apparently] know myself better.


I'm going to need to sit with this for a while.


Anonymous said…
eh, I think Methodists are always working to go on to perfection... that striving is part of it for me, too!

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