Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Oh wreched man that I am!

I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also —Matthew 5:39

This verse reveals the humiliation of being a Christian. In the natural realm, if a person does not hit back, it is because he is a coward. But in the spiritual realm, it is the very evidence of the Son of God in him if he does not hit back. When you are insulted, you must not only not resent it, but you must make it an opportunity to exhibit the Son of God in your life. And you cannot imitate the nature of Jesus— it is either in you or it is not. A personal insult becomes an opportunity for a saint to reveal the incredible sweetness of the Lord Jesus.

The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not, "Do your duty," but is, in effect, "Do what is not your duty." It is not your duty to go the second mile, or to turn the other cheek, but Jesus said that if we are His disciples, we will always do these things. We will not say, "Oh well, I just can’t do any more, and I’ve been so misrepresented and misunderstood." Every time I insist on having my own rights, I hurt the Son of God, while in fact I can prevent Jesus from being hurt if I will take the blow myself. That is the real meaning of filling "up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ . . ." ( Colossians 1:24 ). A disciple realizes that it is his Lord’s honor that is at stake in his life, not his own honor.

Never look for righteousness in the other person, but never cease to be righteous yourself. We are always looking for justice, yet the essence of the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is— Never look for justice, but never cease to give it.--
I'll tell you what. I read these devotions from My Utmost for His Highest, and EVERY time I get convicted. This isn't a bad thing, I'm actually very thankful for these writings. They have helped me see so many things.

I've been having a situation at work. The new assistant manager and I just didn't hit it off very well. She is very sensitive, and seemed to take offensive to me, every time I tried to help her with anything. I honestly was not intending to offend her, but I was. I have worked at this store over 3 years (1 year before and now over 2 this time) and would just offer advice at times. I had gotten a bad attitude, and was not talking much to her at all. This of course did not help the situation either, and of course I knew I was wrong, but again, selfishness overruled and I just kept on. (Can you see a pattern--I struggle so much with selfishness and never realized it so much as in the last year or so) You know you are taught, don't let people walk all over you, even though you are a Christian you should not be a walking mat for everyone to walk all over. Then I read this. Wow, perfect timing. It was such a good reminder of our purpose, it is to bring glory to God, and leave God in control of EVERYTHING. I was trying so hard not to "take the blow" and in turn hurting Jesus himself. I was definately acting in the flesh, not the spirit. Well, I had decided that I would change my attitude (that decision was of course given by the Holy Spirit working in my life--I'm not trying to take credit for it), and I thought I had. Well, I didn't do one thing, I didn't apolgize to her. Today, things got a little ugly. Not really, but we had a discussion, and I'm thankful that it is over for now. I should have been trying to help build her self esteem somehow. I reassured her that I didn't want her job. Yes, I'd love to be an assistant manager someday, but I'm not in the business of "taking" someones job from them. I don't want her to loose her job just so I can get it. Well, I'm thankful that I think we accomplished much today. God is so faithful I'm so thankful for all lifes circumstances he uses to teach me things. I just have to be willing to do what God says.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for the working of the Holy Spirit in my life. Help me never to grow "imune" to the gentle chastening from you. You are all powerful, and have the right and the power to do all things that you have willed. Help me Lord to be a vessel that brings glory to you in all my ways. All the glory and honor belongs to you. You suffered so much, why should I think I will never have to suffer at the hands our mouths of others. Forgive my for my selfish acts once more. Thank you once again for your gentle discipline. I give you all the glory and honor. Amen

1 comment:

Heather said...

What a great great reminder Melissa, what a blessing you are. Praise the Lord for your honest and heartfelt post. love...heather