Eustaquio, Astin A. BSAC – 1A VOCMIS - H 02/20/2020 Reflection Paper No.3 The Challenges of Christian Moral Living Morality has been defined as derived from a code of conduct, being able to distinguish right and wrong. It varies between different cultures, religions, and upbringing. The Christian view of morality focuses on the discernment and action-taking process of a believer, in line with one’s faith in God and his son, Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are born with the gifts of dignity and freedom, as we are considered to be created in God’s image and likeness. The challenge now as believers is to nourish these gifts and uphold our being as embodying the living presence of Jesus Christ. This is possible through the exercise of our morality. As humans, we have our innate freedom to exercise, but with limitations. These limitations are explicit such as rules, laws, and norms in order to regulate our actions and evil tendencies. But as Christians, that regulation should be implied given that we have Ten Commandments and as we have learned about the life of Jesus from the bible. There are times that we are challenged by evil and temptation. Being a moral being, we should be able to discern first on the question “What ought to be?” When faced with a temptation, Jesus Christ fought so hard to go back to his senses and choose the right thing to do even though he had the freedom of choice. This is where the struggle of Christian moral living comes in – the dilemma between freedom and the good. Humans sometimes fail to understand that freedom is not absolute in times when the situation is of great pressure. A Christian would also sometimes forget that God is at work in their lives and instead choose to satisfy physiological needs than spiritual. For example, when man is hungry and does not have enough money to buy food, the urge of the body is to either beg or steal because no company or store would hire someone of no educational background. The dilemma between the freedom to steal food versus choosing to do what is moral is invalidated because the greater need is survival. Another example are those bigoted politicians who go to mass regularly. Their faith may be visible but the moral and intentions are with malice and impure. They just want to show people that they are a believer and wants to gain public sympathy and support. Christian moral living, therefore, calls for our action to be true, good, and beautiful for it to be considered as serving our purpose. As we encounter day-to-day evil and temptation, there are few personal advices to keep in mind to be able to choose what is moral in the midst of challenges. I use these steps whenever I am faced with challenges. These are represented through the 3Ps: Pause, pray, and proceed. Before making a choice of action, it is important to pause and think of what will happen after you do a certain action or say something. Never rush into making a decision. Second, it is important to pray to God and ask for guidance as you make a decision. Take a look back on how God has been at work in your life and ask the question “What ought (should) I do?” and “What is the most Christ-like thing to do?” Lastly, after being able to think and pray, one shall proceed with the action that is most moral and that brings greater good. As humans continue to develop and evolve, morality also evolves. However, our faith must never diminish. All of our actions must be in accordance with our purpose and God’s will. Therefore, our freedom of choice should be used to produce the moral thing to be done. As morality presupposes freedom, evil will never be the solution or answer. We are created in God’s image and likeness, which makes us inherently good and beautiful. Christian moral living does not simply mean doing the right thing, but Christian moral living is using our gifts to enrich our faith as we are genuine in our actions to be like Christ.