Jesus Christ offered many invitations to his followers throughout his mortal ministry. However, one resonates more clearly and simply than the rest: Come, follow me.
At first glance, it seems simple enough. Follow Christ. Follow God. They love us and want good for us. Of course we will follow them. At second glance, we all realize how hard it can be to follow Christ. In fact, there may be times in our lives when it feels impossible to walk in the footsteps of the master.
Where do we get the will to follow God when our natural inclination is to stay where we are or walk in another direction? Here are just a few ways we can strengthen our resolve. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Focus on Baby Steps, Not Giant Leaps
As we work to keep our covenants and do good, we often find we’ve taken on more than we can handle. Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to be stressed or to become overwhelmed, even if it is the name of doing good. Instead of trying to tackle all of your weaknesses at once, focus on making small improvements and building lasting habits.
Take scripture study for example. Scripture study is a vital part to communicating with God, which brings us strength to follow him. If you struggle with reading daily, trying to read for an hour every night and take copious notes might not be the best idea. Instead, you could try reading for five minutes or deeply pondering five verses.
Figure out manageable steps that you can honestly achieve. As you build confidence and strength, change your goals accordingly.
Be Patient With Yourself
Of course, we won’t be perfect no matter how hard we try. So be patient with yourself. Acknowledge your weaknesses and what you can work on, but don’t forget to take a good hard look at all the things you’ve accomplished. You will be more likely to stay motivated if you focus on how far you’ve come instead of how far you have to go.
Jesus Christ is cheering you on. He is excited at all the good you do, even if it seems insignificant to you. Be excited together! It isn’t prideful, especially when you’re recognizing how he has helped you. It can be hard to hear him sending you loving affirmations if you’re too busy beating yourself up for all you’ve seemed to fail at.
Keep Things in an Eternal Perspective
While we may need to focus on getting through one day at a time, we should always have the eternal perspective in the back of our minds. When we truly understand what is at stake and what we are working towards, we will find ourselves becoming more tenacious and persistent than we ever thought possible.
Just imagine the blessings we are working towards when we live righteously! Just imagine the blessings we forfeit when we don’t. It is also important to note that we are guaranteed a victory through Christ. When we stumble, when we fall, we can go on because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is there. We just need to make the choice to keep trying.
Build a Strong Foundation of Truth
The scriptures teach us that if we are not built on a strong foundation we will be subject to the winds and the waves. If we do not have a strong foundation in gospel truths, it is easy to find ourselves swayed by dissenting voices and easier paths. The foundation on which to build is the foundation of Jesus Christ.
Discover for yourself if Christ truly has restored his Church on the earth. Pray to know if Christ directs us through modern-day prophets. No matter what questions may come, we can find answers and move forward in peace if we have a core testimony of Christ and his gospel.
Cultivate a Feeling of Gratitude
It has been said that gratitude is one of the best cures for all that ails our spirits. Gratitude keeps our hearts soft and can turn our eyes to the ways God is acting in our lives. He may even be working in ways that we haven’t noticed because we haven’t taken the time to look. Expressing gratitude daily can help keep us afloat when we feel we are sinking.
It is also important to cultivate a true feeling of gratefulness, rather than just listing off a rote list of things we enjoy. Take time to discover those things that we are truly, utterly, grateful for.
Pray for Strength to Move Forward
In his darkest moments, Christ was given support and strength so he could accomplish his infinite Atonement. We will be given help too. In fact, we need it. At the end of the day, we can only succeed with the help of a Savior. We have been promised help and strength to endure our trials and continue following Christ. When we pray earnestly, we access these constant blessings.