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.


LeighAnn said...

I had a passage immediately come to mind when I read this post, and I hope it encourages you. Press On. Love you.

12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives.”

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;

LeighAnn said...

Hebrews btw... not that you didn't know that :)

until then, i will said...

your posts are like sermons to me.
do you know how much i love sermons? :)