I have never really posted anything that serious or any thought type of posts on here. I’ve written plenty in my mind, and a few on paper, but this time one is actually making it onto the screen. I’ve been thinking about posting this type of post for a while but haven’t. I’m not completely sure why not, but I think it might be because I’m afraid I’ll get something wrong or because a lot of times I think of what other people will think of it. Not so much the disagreeing as the “wow this is such a great post” type of thought, and it feels like maybe I shouldn’t do it then if I’m thinking of the praise I’ll get. I’m also more comfortable with a one-on-one or in real life sort of discussion when I’m talking about this sort of subject. So maybe this is a good way to start, with a post called “It’s Not About Us” because it’s not about me. I think it’s good to talk about things like this and I’ll just let God handle the outcome for everyone who reads this. 🙂
I don’t have any pictures to go with this post, and it kind of switches themes or topics or something halfway in between. It’s a little scattered and probably confusing at times too. Sigh. Enough with the defending myself and talking about me. Because that’s what I’m talking against in this post.
Oh, and the Bible verses are linked to the whole chapter in case you want to read it in context.
Without further ado:
It’s Not About Us
The concept of turning the other cheek seems to have become very foreign to us. If someone slaps you, you slap them twice, show them you’re not going to be messed with! Right? No. Our culture is so focused on us. See what you can do for yourself, see how you can make yourself stand out.
I’ve been thinking about loyalty, and loyalty seems to apply, for the most part, to ourselves now. Not others. Instead of defending or being there for someone else, we constantly defend our opinions and ideas, and put our needs or wants first. What about standing up for someone, being loyal behind their back? Not because it will benefit you, but because you care about the person. Or even if you don’t agree with them, you don’t need to criticize them harshly. Be loyal behind their back, don’t gossip or condemn behind their back. Yes, it’s okay to tell them they’re wrong, but do so lovingly, with an attitude of trying to help them instead of bringing them down so they can see how much higher you are than them. I’m sure that’s hard, and I don’t really know the best way to do that, but wouldn’t it be so much nicer to look out for the other person, not so you can watch them trip but to pick them up if they fall? And if you’re defending a friend, do it lovingly too. We are supposed to love our enemies, right? That doesn’t mean going along with whatever they want, to never disagree with them. And it sure is harder to do that when it’s an enemy rather than a friend. But even if it’s hard, maybe that’s okay. Because you know what? It’s not all about us! We don’t tell them why we disagree so they join us, we do it because we don’t want them to continue doing what’s wrong. We do it out of love.
Going back to turning the other cheek now: when a harsh action or word is directed towards us, maybe we don’t need to rush into the fray and hurl insults back at the oncoming offender and constantly defend ourselves. Perhaps we can just sit there while they hurl their spears, knowing that our shields would fall utterly short of the shield God is protecting us with. Yes, you may get wounded, but you won’t be defeated. We’re not of this world. It’s not about us. We’re not trying to elevate ourselves, we’re trying directing the attention and glory to God.
But wait! You’re awesome – you go girl! You can do anything you want! Reach for the stars!
No thanks. I’d rather reach for God and let him give out the right stars. It’s good to have dreams and ambitions, but don’t blow them way out of proportion. They are not the most important things. If my dreams don’t line up with Gods plans for me, I sure don’t want them to come true! I’m thinking they’d be a lot more like nightmares.
So where am I going with this? I’m not sure. I’m just writing down my thoughts (and now typing out my thoughts), hoping they’ll untangle on paper.
Oh, and remember that part about me being awesome and all that jazz? Well nope, I’m not even near that awesome mark. God is really the only awe-inspiring one (which is a lot of the reason why I rarely use the word awesome) and if you would stand me next to God… well. I’m guessing I’d run away or fall on my face or something of the like because I’m a pretty rotten person. We all are. Ever stopped to check what the reason is behind why you’re doing something? It usually isn’t a very nice one. Usually we make it about us. “Well I going to do this because it will make me happy, even if it doesn’t make them happy.” No! It’s not about us.
It’s not easy to turn the other cheek, to let yourself get battered, to not strike back. But hey, Jesus told us to. And guess what guys! So far there have been a lot of we and I and you, but here comes the good part: it’s all about Him. And yet he promises that for those who love him, all things will work together for good.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Does it make any sense that a holy, holy, holy, righteous, and completely just God would do that for the wretched sinners that we are? Nope. None is righteous, no, not one. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
10 as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one;
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Sounds like we’re in rough shape, huh? But what about verse 24: “and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.”
24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
See, this is where Jesus comes in! All who believe can have “the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ. ” Which leads us to seeing that “God shows his love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
That is truly incredible. I mean, a man might die for his friends, for a “good person”, but for a wretched, evil person? No, and even then the man is only a man while Jesus is perfect and holy. He was both God and man. And so, since we’ve been given the amazing gift of salvation, we have no reason to “set [our] minds on the things of the flesh” and every reason to “set [our] minds on the things of the Spirit.”
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
So we don’t need to fight back with swords of insults. “As it is written, ‘for your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
Oof. Doesn’t sound too fun, does it? Yet, as Paul says, “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We’re saved because God redeems us. We can have Christ’s righteousness because he paid for our sins through his death on the cross. Not because God looked down and said “Oh, she’s been pretty nice lately, how about I pick her for my team.” It’s not about what we’ve done, but what Jesus has done for us in his work on the cross. What God and the Holy Spirit does to redeem us and justify us. It’s not about us.
To God be the glory!