Saturday, July 16, 2005

Persecution Complex?

Hello gentle readers,

Recently I was reading Luke 6:22-23 which says, "Blessed are you when others hate you, when they exclude you, and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets."

During the verses before and following, Jesus is teaching. All of the people from surrounding areas were bringing their sick and oppressed to be healed by him. During this, Jesus turns to his disciples to teach them a special lesson. In the midst of this, Jesus gives the above. He says that those who are persecuted and marginalized for his sake, will be blessed and receive a heavenly reward.

That made me think about all of the times I've just labeled something I've gone through as persecution and skipped along thinking I was blessed and rewarded.

Am I truly persecuted for Christ, or am I simply offensive in my witness? To be persecuted for Christ means one must actually be living for him. Pseudo-religion doesn't get it. Living for Christ requires complete selflessness and love. If we are mistreated, it is often in response to our lack of love. I have never seen someone mistreated for being the love of Christ in this world! But, I have most certainly seen well-meaning Christians mistake judgment for love and bring upon themselves ill-treatment.

It's not about a persecution complex! If we fail to show the true love and acceptance of God, it is not blessed.

Many years ago, I worked with a young woman who walked out in her life the love of God. She walked the walk. Always. I know she did because I watched her diligently for failure. I couldn't believe anyone could have that loving spirit on the inside. But she did. Every day. She was a strong witness to me of how Christ loved the world. And to this day, when I have unloving moments in my life, Lynn's walk with the Lord comes back to me as a witness...30 years afterward! Don't ever think that what you say or do won't affect folks in the long-term. It will.

Was this woman persecuted? No. There was no need because she showed the love of God to everyone with whom she had contact. Was she misunderstood? Definitely! She loved everyone and was always kind and courteous. There was no doubt whose she was and why she was that way. She witnessed to the love of God every single day we worked together. Jesus literally beamed through her to everyone around her.

So, if we are not seeing a positive response to our witness, maybe we should start to check our "love level." We live in a world full of people who are desperately seeking peace, love and personal acceptance. Let's take the time to check our "love level" and reach a hurting world for Jesus!

May God richly bless you this day! Love someone for God today...

CLG-B

4 comments:

lab said...

cindi,

you have an excellewnt point of view. this world needs l;ove more then anything else. people are deluded by hatred and violence.
they even have violent entertainmen
t. love will bring the world to
perfection. jesus and buddha are the primary teachers of this concept. when we gays are persecuted by religious bigots, who are far from loving we need to
love them back absolutely.

we need to work torwards the end of violence and killing. all
life is sacred and images God...
we must not sanction state sponsored murder and that includes
war and capitol punishment. the time will come when all will love
and the earth will be full of the
knowledge of God's love.

Angel Eliza said...

Would you like to read something neat that I have found? It is a Scripture that is very direct in its Affirmation of the LGBT Community. Its free for the asking at: angeleliza41@yahoo.com
I agree that the only way to get people to see God's Love is to show it to the best of your ability in every interaction of your life, whether anyone is looking or not.
I have often been critized for trying to see the good side of everything. I still have Empathy and concern but I also try to show what good may come from the event. I like talking to other people who feel God working in their lives.
"God's Blessings for the whole world, no exceptions."
Hugs, Angel Eliza

TheLesRev said...

Thank you for your comments. I agree that we should strive for a world without conflict. One cannot hit a target if one doesn't aim for it. Love is the answer. If God is love, then it stands to reason that in order to show God to our world, we must show LOVE.

Tina said...

Hey Cindi,

After I made my post on Whosoever I started reading your wesite. It really hit home after what I went through this morning. i think it is time i check my love level as you so nicely put it. I will read and pray a little more today.

Thanks