07-31-2009, 04:03 PM
| | Self-pity, suffering, and reward
Kim started a thread along the same lines and got me thinking.
I was thinking about the diffferent kinds of pride that there is. There is the obvious kind...the kind that boast. But there is another kind....self-pity.
Boasting is how we respond when we imagine ourselves to be successful.
Self-pity is how pride responds to suffering.
(There is a differenc between self-pity and grief)
Boasting is the response of pride in a strong heart
Self-pity is the response of pride in a weak heart.
Pride seems self-sufficient
Self-pity seems self-sacrificing.
Self-pity doesnt look like pride because it appears to be needy. It arrises not from so much a sense of unworthiness but from a sense of unrecognised unworthyness. Its unapplauded pride.
Self-pity comes from a wounded ego. It doenst really want others to see them as needy but rather as heros.
Now jesus must have known about the dangers of self-pity. And i think that peter had a slight problem with it. When peter asked what he will recieve for having given up all that he had to follow jesus, jesus said that nobody that gives up stuff for the sake of the kingdom will not get many things back. So there is no real sacrifice without gain, and therefore suffering isnt self-sacrifice it is rather, great gain. There are many scriptures that show that our suffering comes with great reward, so that no man can boast and say 'i have given up so much' and feel like they need to be applauded for it. Then man will get the glory not god. Giving up is inevitably receiving so there is no grounds to feel self-pity, or to boast in self-sacrifice when we give up anything.
And what about jesus himself. After all that beating and mocking and torture he went through on the cross, what did jesus say ''forgive them father for they know not what they have done'' . Jesus wasnt influenced by being unrecognised as the son of god. Jesus didnt sacrifice himself without looking forward to the reward. The price he paid was nothing in comparison to the glory that god was about to confer on him. His father put him above all rulers and authority for doing it. So jesus gave up his life, but he gained so much more. So there was no room for self-pity.
All giving is getting. So if giving means getting there is no room for self-pity.
Jesus did not loose his life, he gave it. Willingly. He said 'nobody takes my life'. He had the power to lay it down and to take it up. If jesus was a victim of circumstance he might have had the opportunity to become sorry for himself. But there was none of that. He wasnt a victim. He laid his life down himself. Self-pity always feels like it is a victim of circumstance. If jesus was a victim he would want retrobution. But since he said 'father forgive them for what they have done' he was saying 'hey, you didnt do this to me, i let it be done to me'. Im not a victim here! He did not have pity on himself, he had pity on those who hurt him. When peter on occasion said 'lord have pity on yourself' jesus didnt much like that idea and rebuked him!
Its also why the commandment to love god is not burdensome. To love god means uncalculated reward!
Hebrews 11:26 Talking about moses
26He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
We see that moses was looking forward to the reward. Hed rather suffer disgrace than loose his reward.
So suffering disgrace comes with reward.
because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.
When you do good to your enemy you show that you are not a victim! And there is no room for self-pity then. When you do good to your enemies, you do so cause you know there is a great reward for it. Because...whatever good we do....we the Lord will reward us.
08-07-2009, 12:05 PM
| | Re: Self-pity, suffering, and reward
Originally Posted by Heneni
And what about jesus himself. After all that beating and mocking and torture he went through on the cross, what did jesus say ''forgive them father for they know not what they have done''
Im going crazy im quoting myself here.
The thought dawned on me that there is a stark contrast between the way abel and jesus died.
Abel's blood cried out for vengeance...he was a victim.
Jesus's blood did not...jesus said ...forgive them father for what they have done.
to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel
08-08-2009, 07:23 AM
| | Re: Self-pity, suffering, and reward
I was reading the book of Acts last night and found Stephen doing the same thing after he was stoned to death.
59While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.
He too did not consider the stoning as him being in some way at the short end of the stick and being a victim of circumstance, and therefore since he was not a victim, but laid his life down, he said forgive them.
He must have also believed that they were stoning him out of ignorance. However, standing on the sideline was our dear paul, then called saul, who saw what happened to stephen. Stephen extended to those around him the suffering which is lacking in the affliction of christ....and a few verses later..... Paul is converted. Stephens dead brought glory to god in the form of the conversion of paul.
But when wicked people do things that dont stem from ignorance, then the result is not so nice.....and forgiveness does not follow, but vengence.
Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, (again, he was not acknowledging the glory of god) an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
Same kind of thing happened to the man and women who was trying to lie to the HS and sold their land but only brought a portion of the proceeds to the apostels for the distribution to the saints. They were both struck down and died.
When we are persecuted severely by those who are ignorant of the truth, you have to forgive them so that there is no charge against them that can hinder them from coming to christ or from us remaining in fellowship with christ.
So then paul had to be forgiven by the christians for what he did to them previously before he was converted. And at first they were a little reluctant, but when they saw what christ had done in paul, they gave glory to god and accepted him into the fold.
Now not all persecution done to saints will lead to the offender coming to christ. Like paul and the man alexander. Paul said this man did him much wrong, but that he left him to the vengence of god, he said that god will repay him for what he has done.
In the same sense, as a result of judas's actions jesus was taken captive. In a way he persecuted jesus, and ended up dead.
So all those who persecute us, have the potential to be converted as we extend the suffering of christ to them, but not all who persecute us will come to know the truth and their end...is truly sad. Their end is the vengence of god.
But for us...whatever our persecuters motives or their final conversion...we never suffer in vain.
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