We all learn lessons in life. Some stick, some don’t. I have always learned more from rejection and failure than from acceptance and success.
Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.
Our self-perception determines our behavior. If we think we’re small, limited, inadequate creatures, then we tend to behave that way, and the energy we radiate reflects those thoughts no matter what we do. If we think we’re magnificent creatures with an infinite abundance of love and power to give, then we tend to behave that way. Once again, the energy around us reflects our state of awareness.
Have you ever been made to feel like so high?
Perhaps it was your boss at work, or a colleague.
Whoever it was, they managed to convey their low opinion of you – that you are of little, or no significance – in their estimation that is! And I can bet the Enemy lost no time in confirming those thoughts.
In the Bible, we read of a character named Zacchaeus, who was not only little of physical stature but also little in the eyes of others. As a tax collector, he would have been rejected, scorned, even reviled. And so you can bet your life (don’t do it though!) that even the religious people of his day marginalised him and dismissed him as of little, or no consequence.
How about you?
Have there been people in your life who have shoved you to the margins of dignity or respectability?
And have circumstances or the way you are treated, reinforced within your mind any negative feelings you may have about yourself and your future?
Don’t listen to the voice and lies of the Enemy. He used the same tactics on Jesus and will do the same to his followers. After all, Jesus himself said:
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. (Matthew 10:24 NKJ)
In terms of how others were ill-treating him, listen to what Paul said of himself and his fellow-workers:
…being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. (1 Corinthians 4:13 NKJ)
As I wrote this, I suddenly had an epiphany.
You see I’d get upset with God because since He is in control, why is he allowing my ill-treatment and persecution? Why does He allow it to continue? And how does being constantly maligned and misrepresented bring glory to you Lord?
But what I, and what you need to realise, is that we occupy different roles and those roles carry different responsibilities and attract different challenges and trials.
- As an ambassador I am supposed to reflect the principles of his kingdom and promulgate its benefits.
- As his child, I am supposed to love and trust him, develop my relationship with him.
- As his disciple, I am supposed to pick up my cross daily and follow him.
- As a member of the Body of Christ, I am to live according to rules which differ from those of the secular world and adopt a mind-set that usually thinks contrary to popular opinion.
- As a servant of God I am required to serve him faithfully to the best of my ability.
It is precisely because we are swimming against the tide of popular perceptions and what is deemed as normal behaviour that we Christians can become a target.
Like Zacchaeus, we need to get out of the way of the crowd… raise ourselves above the environment of the status quo. However, realise that in doing so, the spotlight of other people’s malice or contempt will almost certainly focus upon you.
Now dear reader, if you have been, or are currently being mistreated, climb out of the box in which others have pigeon-holed you. Don’t passively accept or participate in those scenarios of victimisation or rejection, which other people have orchestrated for you.
In order for him to see Jesus, Zacchaeus’ strategy was to elevate himself above the general crowd, above his circumstances and the perception of others (i.e. his littleness of stature and character).
Dear friend, choosing to stay on the same level as the crowd means you will limit your perception of self… means you can only see this crowd… means you’ll become carried away by it or absorbed into its mentality… means you’ll only see yourself in relation to it.
Now, if you can relate to anything I’ve said in this post, allow me to counsel you today. Learn a lesson from Zacchaeus who chose to climb higher—and go do likewise!
Choose to be a victor!
Wishing you a peaceful and victorious week.
Carol (aka Lady Cee) ♥♥
CREDIT: all the above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com
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