Monday, April 6, 2009

Back On My High Horse

Recently, “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” is taking on a whole new significance for me. I am learning a few things about myself. None of which, unfortunately, are good. Some of which, I never knew before. Some of which, I thought were dealt with and gone, but apparently were only lying dormant.

I find it unfair that it is in the face of persecution, injustice, accusation, and trial that the depth of our character is shown most clearly. It is unfair because isn’t it only natural for people to respond defensively or angrily in such circumstances? After all, how else are we to survive? Is it right that a person be judged based on how they respond when they are wronged? Shouldn’t it be the person who is doing the wrong that should be judged? Yet, I know that life isn’t fair, and the world isn’t a perfect place. I know that we are held accountable for our actions even if it is simply retaliation. (Not to mention that we would all be in heap of trouble if we got everything we deserved! Thank goodness for grace!) Thus, I have chosen the “high road.”

Yes, right now, I am finding myself in a position where I feel I would be justified in verbally lashing out at someone. I am finding myself in a position where I think I would be justified in simply walking away and leaving people to clean up their own mess. I am finding myself in a position where I feel I would be justified in throwing a punch or twelve. Yet, I am refraining. I am taking the high road.

…Except for that tiny fact that Jesus doesn’t care about my so called “high road.” The issue is, my heart is bitter and angry and frustrated, and I suppose that some teeny tiny amount of credit should be given to me for refraining from a physical or verbal reaction, but the truth is…it doesn’t really matter. Remember that whole Sermon on the Mount thing where Jesus’ major point is…yeah so what. I don’t care if you do everything right on the outside. You’re missing the point. The important thing is what your heart looks like…? Yeah, unfortunately, I’m remembering that all too well today. I’m being smacked upside the head with it every time my holier than thou, self-righteousness kicks into gear.

So today, as I am struggling through being like Christ from the inside out, I am realizing how impatient I actually am. I am seeing how selfish and prideful I can actually be. I am seeing that when things aren’t how I think they should be I become stubborn and unmotivated. And, I am quite honestly irritated that this injust circumstance, is pointing out my character flaws. Go figure. I have always prided (there’s my first problem) myself in the fact that I “worship the Lord through whatever position he has placed me in, by working my hardest and giving my best.” HA! Not today, my friends. Today I am learning how hard it is to follow not only the teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, but I am finding it difficult to look past the “working for men” part to remember that I need to be focused on the “working for the Lord” part. So let me try, once more, to dismount from my high horse and actually be like Jesus.

Sometimes this is all a bit harder than it seems.