We've featured posts by Daniel Osborne and his blog "Pressing On Toward the Goal" before, but this one just might be my favorite. I won't add much commentary beyond simply saying. . .I love this post because it honestly describes a real life scenario that we all encounter at some point. Plus, it illustrates and Biblically evaluates two basic responses in a simple and to the point manner. I think Daniel's post is likely to pop into my mind at some point in the future when I encounter a similar situation. Not exactly profound, but that, with its simplicity, is the beauty of it.
I hope you are as blessed by it as I was. I'll be quiet now before I seem like I'm gushing. :-P
The Mind of Christ
One of the songs that I listen to quite often on the way to work and back is called, "The Mind of Christ". It talks about living a life of sacrifice... putting others first regardless of what they do... to give grace... to never quit doing right... to give all without regret... to have the mind of Christ. It is one of my favorite songs to meditate on as I roll into work in the morning because it helps me focus on the things that matter. Honestly, today was not an easy day. It was one of those days where a coworker was trying to frustrate me (and succeeded, though I didn't show it). Usually during such days, I am able to refocus during lunch break, but I ended up not really taking a lunch break... and it was just a struggle to keep my heart fixed on Him. I am thankful for His grace and help in helping me to respond correctly, but I know that my heart wasn't matching my actions. I so much want to have the mind of Christ, so that it is not just my actions that are following Him, but my actions are following my heart... a heart that is fixed completely on Him. I was reading tonight in Romans 12 and found great encouragement in verses 14-21.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay", says the Lord. "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I don't think I'd call this "persecution"... or that he is my "enemy"... but it still very much applies. I am to have an understanding heart... rejoicing with him in his successes, bearing his burdens in his failures... to make peace, to overcome any bad intentions he has with giving of myself for his benefit. Oh, how little such an act of grace is compared to the grace of Him who died for the sin that I commit against Him every day. I need that constant reminder of the gospel so that my heart would be fixed on Him. These are such little things, but I so much need His help. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. God, help me to live in the reality of the gospel. I want to love how You love. I want Your heart and your mind. Transform me more into the image of Your Son that others would see You through me. Strengthen me with Your Spirit and the joy that comes with true fellowship with You. Cause Your Word to run free in my heart, stripping me of my selfishness and pride and longing to see You glorified.