I Think I Can, I Think I Can, But I Really Don’t Want To!
You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right, and patiently endure unfair treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But, if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. – 1 Peter 2:18-20
There are days when I don’t feel like it, I don’t feel like the challenges, I don’t feel like doing what I should do, I may even think about just how unfair this request is and want to walk out of the door.
Yes, I admit it, I’ve got a long way to go. Every day, I am working toward accepting and saying “yes, Lord” the first time, but I am still a work in progress! Being like Jesus is hard work, and if you had never heard anyone say it before I say it absolutely is, and just in case you were not sure, it really does take supernatural power. Taking the high road, when you would prefer to reconstruct a scene from the hit show Reveng, or when you would rather tell someone like it ‘TIS takes some growing into, period.
This Sunday in church, I heard a sermon about acting more like Christ, and essentially the scripture above says the same. God asks us to be graceful, kind beyond what people expect, and sometimes way beyond what we believe to be acceptable or fair, and that is no easy feat.
There are times when God will allow people to step on us, and treat us unfairly. They may say bad or mean things to us or about us, without even making sure there is one ounce of truth in what they have said, and most of the time without even checking.
Even knowing this though, we have to remember our own times on the Hall of Shame. How many times have you had a bad day and taken it out on someone who didn’t deserve it, or someone who had nothing to do with happened. Even better, how many times have you gone off on someone only to find out that you were mistaken or misinformed about their motives or expectations. UGH!
In this text, God asks us to live differently, He asks us to stretch beyond ourselves, and to live by His rules and tenants, instead of our not own. He asks us to trust Him in every situation in our lives, without taking things personally or looking at things only from our perspective.
If we decide to take God at His word, there is a gift for us. When we are able to endure the very things that may feel heartbreaking to us now God is pleased with us, and who doesn’t want to please God? As an older sister, I remember what it felt like not to be able to hit my brother back when he either hit me, or did something that he should not have. I remember being falsely accused by people of doing things, and never hearing an apology, and how bad that felt. Yet, I still remember the times that I was clearly wrong and both God and people were kind and graceful with me. I know I feel both honored and blessed when someone extends me grace and love, especially another who endured whatever I dished out because they were more mature, and had more wisdom than I had, in that moment.
Today, strive to live to the glory of Him, who has called you out of darkness into His glorious light. Remember and concentrate on God in all things. When you feel under pressure at home, or at work, stop and pray. Ask God for the power to endure under trials, look to and at God to redeem you, and know that if He doesn’t do it publically it doesn’t mean He hasn’t seen, or doesn’t know. Realize at the very moment you may feel like you are reaching your boiling point and trying to hold yourself together, in that very precious moment you maybe showing another person what the love of Christ looks like, not by how you want to act, but by choosing to act the way that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior did. Know that even if you fail, understand that you are still developing and growing in Him