I have been thinking about all the things 'we' allow ourselves to become disappointed, discontented, and offended (angry and/or hurt) over... things that we should not allow to have such control over our attitude and our mind... things we should really let "roll off our back" like water on a duck (even the "hard" things). I have been thinking about how 'we' tend to be "caught off guard" or even surprised when someone "fails" us in some way... or when "offenses" come. I am really 'amazed' at -even my own- "christian" immaturity. But, let the truth fall where it may- it REMAINS TRUE.
'Our' expectations set us up for a great number of disappointments- in people and in our life's circumstances.
Have we still not grasped the basic principles of our LORD's teaching? Have we still remained so self-absorbed that we fail to "hear" the message of HIS voice? When we learn to live, give, serve, love, and just "be"- without expecting anything in return for ourselves (even the "feeling" of being appreciated, or the "feeling" of gratification for some "good thing" we have said or done, etc.) THEN maybe we can come closer to the point of understanding the concept of "laying our lives down".
EXPECT FAILURES (disappointments, offenses, hurts...)! When Paul wrote to our brothers and sisters living in Corinth at that time, he made them aware that even 'prophecies' would "fail" (1 Cor. 13:8). I would not dare add to the Scriptures, but my own thoughts along these lines could read: "Where there be men, they shall fail; where there be women, they shall fail; where there be children, they shall fail; where there be husbands, wives, sons, daughters, family members, friends, aquantances, pastors, co-workers, "church congregations", all human kind: THEY SHALL FAIL... where there be hopes and dreams, THEY SHALL FAIL.... where there be gifts, talents, abilities: THEY SHALL FAIL... where there be governments, kings, queens, rulers upon the earth: THEY SHALL FAIL... where there be mentors, teachers, "heros" of any kind: THEY SHALL FAIL... where there be "ANY 'GOOD' THING": IT SHALL FAIL. Point taken, I'm sure... All this to say: ONLY CHARITY NEVER FAILETH. ONLY YHWH (and HE being LOVE) NEVER FAILS. THAT'S IT. PERIOD. NOTHING ELSE.
We are blessed indeed to have a copy of the Scriptures, where we can read a record of some of the words and teachings of our LORD as HE walked this earth as a man teaching frail humanity the TRUTH and REALITY of what is REALLY RIGHT according to how our Father and Creator views things and feels about things. If we will take heed and listen, we will gain great insight into our Father's heart. Notice the many different times YAHSHUA (JESUS, in the English language) taught us to be selfless and expecting NOTHING from others. This is how HE lived, and taught HIS followers and disciples to live. Matthew, chapters 5-7, and Luke, chapter 6, are worthy of frequent reading and meditation. For lack of time and space, I want to draw your attention to Luke 6:35 which reads:" But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, HOPING FOR NOTHING AGAIN, and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for HE is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil."
When we simply love and give of ourselves, being longsuffering and merciful, forbearing one another's faults (keeping conscience our own imperfections) then we are living in HIS kingdom, in HIS heart. I'm not advising to embrace sin; but to "make room" for others in their pesonality differences, in thier faults and mistakes, and in their differences of opinions. We are told to be forgiving of those that offend us or do wrong unto us. We are told to go to our brother if we suspect that he has an offence toward us. We are told to get along with others peaceably as much as is within our power. We are to be peacemakers. We are to edify the body of Christ, to encourage, to lift up, to be kind one to another. We are to be Christ in this earth. All of this is easier when we make a conscious effort to not be easily offended and to not be quick to anger and to not provoke those things in others. The wrath of man worketh NOT the righteousness of GOD. Let us be mindful of what we "allow" ourselves to be ruled by (our flesh/emotions or the Spirit of YAHWEH).
HIS grace does NOT insure us an "easy" life! It insures us the ability to "rise above" the things that try to destroy us in our flesh. It insures us the ability (in HIM) to love and forgive others, to show mercy, to endure hardness, and to escape the world's lusts and desires THROUGH HIM. Don't live this side of eternity expecting FULL righteousness to reign in this temporal earth. Live this side of eternity expecting that ONLY CHARITY never fails!
*a JOYFUL thought: John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that IN ME ye might have PEACE. In the world ye SHALL have tribulation: but BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD." !!! : D