Did I miss something?
Is there some super-power Christians get when they choose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ that I do not know about? It seems like every time we turn around there is another opinion about how Christians should operate in everyday life in comparison to the term “Christian”. I say “super-power” because only fictional superheroes have a script of life that allows them to have strength greater than human capability. Though there is truth in the Bible that can back up a similar statement, but this is where people get it wrong most. What they are actually saying is, “ You are a Christian, so you should be able to take anything that comes your way and still just deal with it and be happy no matter what.”
We aren’t so different after all!
Now, let me just start by saying for the sake of this conversation, whatever the intention behind the statement it could go two of many ways. It can either be used as ammunition to fuel an insult, or it can be a gentle reminder of who we ought to be per the teachings of Jesus; specifically, in Humility. If the person is to try and bring down and tear down the average Christian, they may get exactly what they wanted-a blow up. On the other hand, if it is simply used as a friendly reminder, you may also get what you want; a balance. Here is why…Whether a Christian, a Buddhist, Muslim, Humanist, or an Atheist, we all have something in common. Life and Humanity. I personally like to call it, “Humanism”. Basically, our basic and primitive state of being of the way we were designed from the beginning of creation. Whatever side of knowledge and wisdom you are on about how YOU came into existence is something only YOU will truly know. Here is a bit more perspective on the other hand. We are all given life, we all have breath in our lungs, and we all bleed. We all desire, we all have ambitions, and we all have a soul. Because we share this commonality, it makes us more alike when it comes to living life also. The trials of life do not pick and choose people, they just are what they are. Some would call it, luck, karma, or even fate/destiny. Whatever name it has been given through the years, it is still the life we live individually. Some things in life are choices of our own either good or bad judgement, and some are uncontrollable events, like maybe death. Inevitably, no matter what we face in life, we make a choice of what to do AFTER said event or decision. Dealing with the consequences, or next steps in how to make it through to the next day is a challenge for everyone whether you are a Christian or not. Here is the biblical perspective. In 2 Corinthians 12, The Apostle Paul is reminded by God that His grace is sufficient for Paul to handle the trials of his weakness; reminding Paul that even when he is weak, He becomes strong THROUGH his faith in the power of God, and not his own strength.
This verse is also commonly taken out of context, however, as it relates to this current topic, it may actually serve as a gentle correction on the stigma and stereotype that has been put over the church since the beginning of time. Christians are not superheroes and certainly not God in the flesh(Jesus). We are just people who choose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, not people who are trying to BE Jesus Christ; though I think we have all heard about at least one delusional human-being in life claiming to be the Messiah himself at some point in life. What are we saying here?
Let me tell you a story…
When I was younger, I only imagined what life would be like when I got older, as most little girls do. If I had a husband, or if I would have a house to fill with some kids. I was not sure; all I knew is that there was anticipation for adulthood. It was not until everything I knew shattered my world, and the only people I knew and could trust were now the people I was most afraid of or hated. Even still, seeing hope for the future I choose to move forward, and not give up on my dreams. You never think it could affect you that much until you go down memory lane in both the past and present and realize that you might still be healing. I was beaten and bruised so much to my core that sometimes, it still feels as though I feel so alone, but then, this thing happens. I look around myself whether making a good decision or a bad one, I know I am not alone. I cannot explain or theorize. Maybe Psychotic? Delusional? I call Him Jesus. Well, in the way I understand, I guess. Oddly, in spite of all I have experienced that at one point had me terrified to face the world, or even have a dream, instead, I am the type of person who loves Neuroscience, Psychology, Sociology, and most recently Cybernetics, and Quantum Mechanics. Particularly in relationship to “the brain behind the people”. Everything people; old or young. How they learn, how they are influenced, how they feel the most loved and understood. How we pain. It can be a process, but I love it! I choose to turn that frown upside down, get to working on a plan and strategy for myself, and experiment with what works towards freedom. Today, working with today’s youth and living my own victory of freedom, has been both a blessing and great responsibility. The goals for the community and how I influence it, is an important thing. I would say that is what fuels me the most. Even with my love for life, people, and firstly Jesus, still has days, many days, where I am lost. I cannot always cover it with a Jesus smile, I am only human after all. I am still me, it just means that you may get a quieter me, until I can find the proper words LOL. Jesus looks different depending on the level of your understanding. Being a human, and I am an intellectual one at that, but this is something beyond even MY own human understanding. And you know what?
I AM OK WITH JUST BEING HUMAN!
Our Freedom, Our Responsibility!
I will always strive to represent Jesus by being as respectful and graceful, as we all should not because of level of Jesus, but because there should be a level of respect and common courtesy. What I will say is the pressure does fall on Christians for obvious reasons of the Mantle they carry once they decide to claim Christian. My thought process then prepares a parallel to the reverse perspective. Let’s say for example, if your dad were the president, whether you had the choice or not, there is a huge responsibility and even a “price” that is put on your head just because of who your dad is. Same deal here. “Our Father in Heaven” has a great responsibility to represent love and it should not be taken lightly. Just like that, we become the center of attention. Next, we run into even bigger challenges along the way when we misrepresent Him to the world around us. Then like the game of Dominos, it trickles over, and takes down everything it touches, in turn shaping, the way the world views Christianity, and by default, God Himself. The level of understanding of Jesus that we attain is how intentional our relationship and trust is with Him and through His revelation to us-meaning to us personally. What He means to YOU/us!
Let’s remember, realistic expectations!
If I know I have been forgiven, and I have a little tantrum because someone offended me, or had a different opinion than me, or don’t think like me, or don’t look like me, I should still be able to turn around love thy neighbor. Does not mean I have to like them in that moment, LOL, but I will respect them because of the name and the representation of my Father. Not just because loves, but that He IS love. We have to allow that part of our heart to be surrendered to freedom, and not the chains bondage, brokenness, or bitterness that seeks to entangle us is the “uncertainty” concepts of life, and the dark holes of destruction. I have seen that overtime the more I need Jesus, the more humility I have when we come to Him. It still takes practice, it still takes courage, it still takes consistency. (Also seen with Paul in 2 Corinthians 12) His truth does not lie. If I ever want to doubt how I feel, or if I think I have the right to hold a grudge, or vent with a friend or get into trouble, I can’t deny that the truth that I read in the Bible; it’s too much to ignore. Some people have it right when they remind the Christians that they are needed to love on the people, smile and be bubbles flying around, keeping people laughing or that we have to stay true to our responsibilities of our faith. We are the joy of the Lord in HIS strength. That is what it makes it so great. But people, PLEASE do not forget that there needs to be, say it with me… a BALANCE! Encouragement to properly process emotion and situations individually and not on the timeline or expectation of anyone else, while reminding us of how beautifully made we are to need God. He loves us all, even if we do not all love Him!! That is a promise!
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.