I do not care if I am treated as the offscouring of the earth as long as the Gospel is proclaimed.
I was reading My Utmost for His Highest this morning and the above quote stood out to me. Can I really say this about myself or do I secretly (or maybe not so secretly) want to live a comfortable upper middle class American life? Do I want to be revered and admired for my sterling reputation in my community?
It seems to me that God has put us who bear his Message on stage in a theater in which no one wants to buy a ticket. We’re something everyone stands around and stares at, like an accident in the street. We’re the Messiah’s misfits. You might be sure of yourselves, but we live in the midst of frailties and uncertainties. You might be well-thought-of by others, but we’re mostly kicked around. Much of the time we don’t have enough to eat, we wear patched and threadbare clothes, we get doors slammed in our faces, and we pick up odd jobs anywhere we can to eke out a living. When they call us names, we say, “God bless you.” When they spread rumors about us, we put in a good word for them. We’re treated like garbage, potato peelings from the culture’s kitchen. And it’s not getting any better. I Corinthians 4:9-13
To be honest, I could’ve gone my whole life without reading this. Do I really want to be treated like garbage? No, but I’m so thankful for God’s Word. What a great reminder to keep my expectations low! I’ve learned in my short stint in parenting so far that expectations are the name of the game. Keep those expectations at a realistic level and don’t be disappointed when your kids don’t live up to them. Make every experience a teachable moment and keep moving forward out of love for those precious little ones.
So, in my life, I must expect to be mistreated by others and not let my heart be discouraged by it. How else does a dying world see Jesus in me? Is it by my comfortable, easy life? No, it’s by my response to hardship, my love for those who despise me, my desire to see the Gospel made known at ANY cost.