>Distinguishing at the Stop Sign

>Lately I have been trying to find the line between submission, in a genuine, Christ-like manner and becoming a doormat. I feel that by distinguishing this line, I will have a better understanding as to how to approach certain situations. While these situations will remain anonymous and I cannot go into full detail of how I came upon this stop sign in life, I can say that it has been a long stop.

I have been sitting at this stop sign and putting one foot forth, then taking it back, thinking about it, and doing the process over again. Now I feel that I have run low on fuel and here I am trying to find this line. Again, last night I found myself driving and having this conversation in my head; I was debating with myself how Jesus dealt with his everyday life – the mocking, the slandering and countless other negative things – and how he submitted with such humility. I was so lost in this thought, that I became acutely aware of how selfish I was. I think it was the moment that I was grumbling and asking myself “Well, I wonder how much Jesus submitted?” The answer came like a swift kick to the shin:

He actually submitted His entire life.

I laughed out loud to myself. Oh, right… yeah, His life… for me… freedom… yeah. While it was humorous, it felt like I ran into a brick wall when my epiphany came. Now as I am reassembling myself from the hit, I am fearful of messing up or becoming a ball of stone as I am trying to find this line, trying to distinguish where I am supposed to stand as a Christian and my submission to authority. I will admit that it is painfully hard at the end of the day to see how much I take when trying to be the genuine Christian I am supposed to be, but I also know Christ suffered far more than I ever have or ever will.

“Submit yourselves to your authority with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.” 1 Peter 2:18-21

Honestly, after reading that, I feel that I have no excuse. Even feeling remotely sorry for myself and asking for sympathy is pathetic. Perhaps what it crumbles down to is that I may feel this hardship and the oppression at every side, but at the end of the day… God is for me, and if He is for me, who can be against me. That is not a question; it is a statement. I just need to keep this as a daily reminder. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This line seems clearer from here, but I must keep trekking forward in order to find that, maybe, there really is no line. The only line I can recall now is one that Jesus drew in the sand, asking “he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…” and as the stones were dropped, the woman was won to Christ. So these stones that are thrown from this world may be painful and may cause me to run three miles without a care, but I know I am taking these hits for a reason. A wiser and more knowledgeable reason far out of my reach, but one day it will make sense.
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3 thoughts on “>Distinguishing at the Stop Sign”

  1. >For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.I'm having trouble with that verse. Does that mean that we're supposed to just deal with unjust suffering, and not stand up against it?? I mean, following a couple stupid rules is one thing, but in face of yesterday being Yom HaShoah (Holocaust remembrance day)… at what point do you have to stand up against unjust suffering?

  2. >Good point, David.Maybe the suffering has to stop when you, as a Christian, witness it happening to someone else, whether they believe in Christ or not. Christ told us to "turn the other cheek," but also to help and love others. In some ways, many Christians suffer for Christ: we are made fun of, rediculed, mocked and even hated by others for what we believe. But, for the ultimate suffering Christ endured for me, you, and the rest of the world, I can stand for some suffering of my own. Many times in the Bible when Christ was mocked or ridiculed (especially during His death) he never said a word. But He stood up for others when punishment was falling on them (Mary Magdalene).I am not sure if you are familiar with a book called "The Hiding Place" by Corrie Ten Boom, but she stood up for others during the Holocaust and was able to show the love of Christ through her sacrifice, which was a great one.

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