In a world of increasing competition, we must celebrate the success of others.

In light of my decision to receive the holy sacrament of Confirmation next year, I am beginning a mini blog series–some posts more religious in nature, others secular–to document my journey to strengthen my faith. This last year of college is a perfect time to commit to the process after having discovered more about myself in college, gotten [a bit] more mature, and am nearly at the stage of verbally professing an oath to assume special responsibilities to care for all my fellow human beings.

Out of the entire semester, this past week was perhaps the most motivating for me. I survived four exams, four papers, two presentations, and two projects, performing well in each and reassuring my overwhelmed brain that I am capable of excelling in a rigorous environment.

This hard-earned gratification is the sort of eternal flame that should inspire our ambitious spirits and fuel our labors. I still too often look upon the success of my neighbor and think to myself, “he did so much better than I” or “she looks so much prettier than I,” followed by “and that makes me angry.” This anger is envy, a sin, and something to be corrected.

I love the Book of Romans. 3:10 – “None is righteous, no, not one.” Only God is perfect in a way we can never fully understand, but that we can learn to accept and thus allow Him to work through us. 12:2 – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

My neighbor is not perfect, and he or she should not be exalted as such through envy or idolatry. Therefore, all I have left to give is humility and kindness, and accordingly, love.

One more. 12:10 – “Love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.”

P.S. Enjoy the silly picture of me.

xo, Jackie O.

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