The first non-family member I ever punched was a 70-year old lady, but in my defense she hit me first. She was my boss and, inevitably, I was fired on the spot. Ironically I was not fired for my workplace brawl with the old rooster who had it coming, but for not being tough enough in the newsroom or having a killer instinct to “scoop” everyone else in the pressroom. Am I proud of that experience?
Well, she knew I was a Christian and I had just made it abundantly clear that I do, actually, have a killer instinct, aaaaand it’s not on my resume so… being proud of something isn’t the same as having no regrets. I’ll leave it there. Unfortunately for Jesus, I don’t make it a secret that I am a follower of His, for better or for worse. I preemptively apologize to Jesus, daily, in case I do something that makes His spear wound throb a little. Dear Lord, why is it that the worst in us is brought out by other people? Jesus wants us to love other people, but let’s be honest, most people are not love-able! Mary did you know?!
Have you ever noticed that the sheep who follow the Great Shepherd aren’t so much, well, sheep, as we are more like Lamb-o?
“Hi, I’m a Christian! Jesus loves you! Hey, wait. Did you just rear end my new car/yell at my kid on the playground/cut in front of me/give me a dirty look when I asked you to fix me a new latte because the first one was nasty? WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL ME?! It happens to the best of us…
My point? Christians are not immune to the desire to react negatively when the world hands us a less-than-desirable set of circumstances. Yes, Jesus was right, “Blessed are the peacemakers”, but it’s also okay to be at peace with the fact that not everyone is at peace with you. Regardless, you stay classy. You know, Jesus was well aware He was going to be spat on, kicked, stripped naked, beaten within an inch of His life, nailed to a cross and then run through with a spear. And yet, there He was telling His disciples stuff like, “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) Sigh. This is why He is God and Alicia is not. THIS IS WHY.
Pro tip: You’re going to get “spitefully used” at some point.
Whatever it takes to get you in a fighting mood, Satan will gladly lay at your feet. I kid you not, I’m making out my “spitefully used” list today, and, without an agenda, I’m going to pray for the numerous punks in my life. Why? Because Jesus also said, in the same breath, “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the [NYS politicians] do the same?”
And He was right. If He can do it, so can I. I did actually pray for my boss, you know. I prayed that she would come to know Christ in spite of me and that I would never, ever run into her again. So far so good. Amen.