How to choose God over everything?

Sometimes we are inevitably in situations where we have to make choice between God and parents, career, relationships,… Although we know that God’s always with us, we are afraid of this world. I am now struggling with this worldly desire. Please help me.

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Can you offer any specifics or examples ?

At least in my experience, a huge unnecessary burden for us is the notion that we are not supposed to be afraid of anything in the world. “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust,” as an old Bible translated Jesus’ words (Luke 8:50, Mark 5:36, New American Bible First Edition). And yet isn’t it when we tell our mind to not do something it will do it even more, like being told of not to think of an elephant and it nevertheless pops up in our head?

Thankfully, St. Thomas Aquinas made the clarification that what Jesus meant here is worldly fear. Worldly fear is when we think of the world as the end or reason for our life, not the means to the end which is eternal happiness with God. If we love or fear anything of this world more than God, then we will fear losing it or losing to it more than fearing and loving God. It is this kind of worldly fear that Jesus forbids and is actually a sin, the sin of cowardice.

And yet this does not mean that we cannot lawfully fear anything of this world; as long as we associate the things of this world to their true relation with God, then it is even commendable to fear their power or loss. If we see our life, bodies and properties as the natural gifts from God that they truly are, then we will fear losing or damaging them out of negligence or abuse. If we see the laws and law enforcement of our countries as the ministers of God’s justice that they truly are, then we will fear and respect them rightly. If we see our loved ones and other people in the image of God they they truly are, then we will fear sinning against them and instead love them.

Just learning that it can be good and commendable in the eyes of God to fear these natural things of the world has lifted a great deal of burden from my heart, and I hope it does for you too, because the strength freed from this unnecessary fight with fear will be needed for the necessary fight. These gifts, images, and ministers of God can sometimes go against His will, or God will ask you to let these goods go for even greater goods, and it will then be time to fight the fears with God’s help, but you will see that the fight then becomes much easier.

I have to add a disclaimer though that God’s help can sometimes come in the form of professional or medical help, and I strongly suggest seeking such help if needed.

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It’s hard. For example, your parents forbid you being baptized. So you have to struggle against your parents.

As long as you are under their roof, you obey your parents. God knows the desires of your heart.


Why do your parents forbid you to be baptised ?

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