Saturday, June 18, 2011

If your life is easy, you'll never be a Saint

Today, at Men’s Fellowship, we were talking about difficult situations we were in.  In all four of the situations mentioned, it had to do with a person in our lives who had or still is making life very unpleasant whenever we encounter them.  I told about Jill at work interpreting my normal actions that most people like as offensive.  Gerry C. told about a woman at work who was just making his life hell, and we was concerned that when he came in to Men’s Fellowship to lead it this morning, that he would not be able to concentrate.  Jerry told about a neighbor who is just so difficult he just wants to avoid him. Etc.   These stories were right on the surface for us all. 
Gerry said that he’s pretty sure that the Lord wants us to be able to continue to be Godly people in the face of this stress.  As an example of someone who succeeded in accomplishing that, he mentioned a female VP at his workplace who handled something well.  Gerry thought that he said something that could have been taken the wrong way, and he went to this woman and said, “I’m sorry if I offended you”.  She said, “Oh, you can’t offend me.  I have to let myself be offended”.    And Gerry immediately thought, “That’s got to be one main reason she is where she is.”
Dan G., on the same topic, said that he heard the saying, “We can be much happier if we just don’t allow others to rent free space in our head.”
Gerry said, “It seems like this kind of problem is something that only happens to us, and that it’s harder for us than for anyone else to manage through it.  But many of the saints had to deal with harder things and still maintain a behavior consistent with God’s commands.”  Now here’s his point that really stuck with me:  “If the Saint’s task had been easy, we wouldn’t think of them as Saints”.
Yes.  Unless we have some true difficulty in life, we cannot demonstrate that we can maintain a focus on God through difficulty.
This gives me a reason to think differently about some of the parts of my life that give me pain.  It makes me think that some day I’ll really understand the Romans 5:3 passage “rejoice in our sufferings”.

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