Throughout my life God has presented me with many opportunities to love others, love my neighbor, and especially my enemies. Most of those times, I let the opportunity pass. Lately though, I’ve been recognizing the chance to take hold of the chance to grow stronger, to grow in Christ, and reluctantly stop the angry thoughts toward those who persecute me while instead lifting them up to God and praying that he break through their false beliefs and hardened hearts.
It’s funny how the closer you get to God, the more closely you walk with him and then more fully surrendered you are to his will, the harder life gets. This undoubtedly is because the more godly you become, the more doggedly Satan and his demons are fighting to pull you down. It’s somehow a good kind of pain, but pain nonetheless… I have to remind myself that Jesus warned his disciples, warned all of us, of the hard road we will take in his footsteps. The world hated him, and they will hate us for being like him. They persecuted him, they shunned him, they laughed at him, they claimed he was telling lies…. the more we, ourselves, reflect Christ, the less we should expect the world to do anything different to us.
It’s frustrating to know that if I need a new job for some reason, I don’t have a reference for anything except my current job. I would not be able to give any names or phone numbers to verify my work history prior to 3 months ago. I’ve always been a hard worker, I’ve never been fired or even gotten written up at a job… but this doesn’t stop past employers from lying and ruining my reputation. I guess that’s payback for standing up for myself and my values when it meant standing up to them as well. I’m not going to go into details here, because, unlike them… I will fight the urge to be petty and selfish and ruin reputations or smear names even though I actually happen to have truth on my side. It’s hard being brought to tears, finding out what someone is saying about you after you gave it your all for that person. The consistent reason I have stood up for myself at previous jobs, refused to just lay low and accept the bullshit just to keep job stability, is because I feel like it rips a chunk out of my heart. Some cultures don’t like pictures being taken of them because they feel like it steals part of their soul. Well, when people hold false beliefs about me, judge me, and basically talk shit behind my back for stuff they have no clue about… well, I feel like it steals part of my soul. I know what I will take and what I won’t. I know what I’ll allow and what crosses the line. And I know when I just, for the sake of my heart, will not compromise myself.
I am reminded once again how I never have felt like I belonged in this world, how I never have really had a lot of friends or fit in… and that’s okay. Because I know this isn’t my home. I know that this life is temporary and I have something so much more waiting for me on the other side. I know that my King created me for immeasurably more and that I will never be fully content and satisfied in this mundane earthly world. I have accepted that as part of life. I am also reminded that I have a chance. A choice. To not be bitter. To not seek revenge. To not give in to anger or feelings of victimization. But instead, to give God’s children back to him, knowing that the only one that can convict them of anything, or get them to change their mind and outlook is him. I am reminded how blessed I am, to give them a gift they don’t deserve. To love them, when they least deserve it. As my Father has done for me.