In the world around us, if we look a little deeper we see God’s word and His love crying out to our hearts. Many of us fall into the trap of becoming self focused and seeking all of our affirmation from others. Our world and its very meaning is constantly being defined by the media, social stereotypes, and the positive or negative comments of others. Is it any wonder that so many of us struggle with self esteem and self worth?
The answer to our problem lies within the mirror: Our Paradigm
How we see the world and how we interpret its meaning is our paradigm. It is basis for our understanding.
In order for our lives to have value, to have meaning, and stay passionate toward our purpose we cannot base it solely upon the feelings, thoughts, and opinions of others. Our meaning has to transcend this place because we are called for this purpose to endure and be an example for others. We are not made to look like the rest of the world but to stand out and change the world. We cannot do this if we are constantly changing our self to appease others. We have to be who we are and live out what we are called to do.
“But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:20-21
This purpose, this passion, this calling will not be well received. We serve a master who came to love and share God’s love and ultimately died for those who didn’t even recognize Him. Yet He loved anyway, He gave of himself, He lead with a servants heart and humbled Himself. How much more so will we be rejected, persecuted, and ridiculed?
We carry the cross of His passion , His purpose, His love and share this message not critically but with compassion. We will respond to the challenge of hatred with counsel and lead them into a discussion. We will bear the burden of insult in order to later in the hopes of leading them into a relationship with Christ.
We will be excluded in this world only to be exalted in the next. We will never give up on those who assail us, hurl insults, and seek to destroy us for we were once as they were: alone and hurting. We can look upon our brothers and sisters not with a judgmental attitude but through the eyes of a fellow sinner who has compassion on them.
Let us shift our paradigms and see the world as God sees it: in need of rescue. We were taught a simple rule of grammar that can be helpful to us here:
I comes before E except after C.
The challenge before us today is to apply this our lives. Before Christ came into our lives we lived for ourselves (I), then (E)veryone else, and occasionally went to church or thought of God. But now we see the world as He does. After (C)hrist, everyone else comes first into our mind and then lastly we think of ourselves (I). This is burden, accept it with great joy and know that we do not walk alone. We are meant to carry our brothers and sisters, forgive them, and love them in spite of their opinion as we pray for the day that: the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:16)