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Adhering to Principles Needed to Persevere and Prevail

26 Mar 2021 | Lt. Cmdr. John W. Potter Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Easter will fall on Sunday, April 4 this year. That is the most important holiday for Christians, when they celebrate their central belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his death on the cross. For many Christians around the world, the six weeks leading up to Easter are a penitential season known as Lent. During this church season of spiritual preparation and repentance, it is very common to find people who fast from certain foods or take on other disciplines in order to renew and strengthen their faith leading up to the Easter celebration of God’s greatest victory coming out of what seemed like the darkest defeat. 

No matter what your faith tradition (or lack of any religious affiliation), I believe all of us need to be concerned with taking periodic self-checks and recalibrations of our spiritual fitness. Spiritual fitness just means “the ability to adhere to beliefs, principles and values needed to persevere and prevail.” (Navy Chaplain Corps Spiritual Fitness Guide for USMC)

What are the core beliefs and principles that lie behind your own inner strength and resiliency? Have you taken time to reconsider how you engage your world with meaning and purpose? What shapes your moral decisions? How do you uphold the ability to respect and to forgive yourself and others?

One of the most common Lenten disciplines is to read the Bible more to better understand the moral laws of God that so shaped Jesus’ own life and spiritual strength. Christians preparing for Easter will remind themselves of God’s core moral principles as recorded in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-20).

1 And God spoke all these words, saying,

2 “I am the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.           

3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath…”

7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.”        

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work,

10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God…”

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”   

13 “You shall not murder.”   

14 “You shall not commit adultery.” 

15 “You shall not steal.”

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”          

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house… or anything that is your neighbor's.”

These influential laws are worldwide famous but easy to forget. What ethical and spiritual questions do they raise for you?

The Chaplain’s Corner covers everything faith related.  Facts not attributed are purely the opinion of the writer.