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Main obstacles to a sinner’s conversion

Wednes­day. [Heb. 10:1-18; Mark 8:30-34] Hav­ing in­vit­ed peo­ple to fol­low Him with the cross, the Lord shows al­so shows this path, elim­i­nat­ing the main ob­sta­cles to it, which are not out­er, but in­ner, root­ed in the hu­man heart. It is as though He is say­ing, “If you want to fol­low Me, first of all do not pit­y your­self, for he who pit­ies him­self will de­stroy him­self; sec­ond, do not have any­thing to do with self-in­ter­est, for, emWhat shall it prof­it a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul/em (Mark 8:38)? Third, do not be em­bar­rass­ed by what peo­ple will say or how they will look at you: emWho­so­ev­er there­fore shall be a­shamed of Me and of My words, in this adul­ter­ous and sin­ful gen­er­a­tion, of him al­so shall the Son of man be a­shamed, when He com­eth in the glo­ry of His Fa­ther with the ho­ly an­gels./em Self-pit­y, self-in­ter­est, and em­bar­rass­ment are the main chains by which a per­son is held in a life not pleas­ing to God, on the path of pas­sions and sin. They are the main ob­sta­cles to a sin­ner’s con­ver­sion; they are the main ob­ject of spir­i­tu­al strug­gle in a per­son who re­pents and who al­ready has begun to bring forth fruits of re­pen­tance. As long as these threads are not cut, the Chris­tian life in us is un­re­li­a­ble, full of stum­bles and falls, if not al­ways out­er, then in­ner. Let ev­ery­one look at­ten­tive­ly at him­self; if there is any­thing in you of what is said a­bove, take care to give it up: oth­er­wise you can not hope to rise to per­fec­tion in Christ, al­though you may out­ward­ly be very prop­er.

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