Thursday, July 16, 2009

Being A Christian Means Setting Your Standards Low...Very Low

In my post on July 6th, I talked about living with frequent mistreatment and figuring out ways to sincerely love people who don't deserve to be loved...just as Jesus would.

I've learned that, for me at least, the best way to cope and handle all the negative "stuff" that comes my not necessarily with a positive, sunshiny approach, but rather, in a more negative approach... setting my expectations and standards low...very low.

"Huh?!" You may ask...scratching your head. "That doesn't make any sense! I thought Christians were all about sunshiny positiveness?"

Well, instead of me rambling on...I'll let Jesus' own words do the talking...

The World Hates the Disciples

18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

20Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.

21They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.

23He who hates me hates my Father as well.

24If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.

25But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: 'They hated me without reason.'"

John 15:18-25 (New International Version)

So in those moments, when I want to react in anger and retaliation to those who are rude or mistreating me...I just say to myself, "Who do you think you are Maureen? Do you think you should receive special treatment? If they treated Jesus badly, do you think they'll treat YOU any better?"

This is what I've been saying to myself for a while now.

Is it a defense mechanism on my part?


But a defense mechanism that Jesus approved of, judging from the verses above.

In fact, I've definitely noticed that as my faith and love for God grows deeper and deeper on a daily basis and I mature more in my spirituality, the "worldly" reactions I get are more and more hateful and malicious...and more frequent.

It's gotten so bad, that now I've been able to look past people's actions and recognize them for what they really are: spiritual attacks.

Christians have self-centered expectations that they deserve the best of the best and should be treated like royalty. Those promises that God made for His children do exist...but they've been taken out of context. Those promises are to be fulfilled in heaven. While here on earth, this life we live is not to mirror that of royalty...but should mirror Christ's.

Jesus lived a working class life here on earth and He died like a lowly criminal. He was never treated as the true king He was. Why is it then that we Christians believe that we should be?

When Christians remove their high expectations of being treated like princes and princesses while here on earth, when reality hits them, they won't be so disappointed and quick to leave the faith.

Loving and living for God means dying to one's self...and one's ego: you are nobody. Jesus is everything.

Gotta admit, when someone wrongs me, it's an instantaneous good-mood crusher and I feel awful, but in a weird way I find myself smiling to myself. Because I know that this incident just means that I must be doing something right that the devil can't stand it and is wriggling in hate and frustration. He'll do anything to get me down.

Well guess what buddy? I'm onto you...and your lil game...and guess what?! Your antics really just amuse me...nothing less, nothing more.

Because the more the world hates me, the more my love for God is

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