Ok ... this is so wrong. I catch a few fish and, earlier this year, a blue heron tried to steal my fish. Now the reptiles are on board when a giant snapping turtle swims off with a stringer of fish just last week. Something is wrong with this picture!
It isn't the first time I have felt like I was wronged. My first boss on my very first job wasn't the most ethical person ever and did some pretty shady things, some of which visited misery on me. Another boss had ambitions and plans that didn't include my best interest. Sometimes we feel like the world hates us and is out to get us. Jesus addresses this problem specifically.
Jesus said the world would hate the things we do that look like Him. If we love in the way that Jesus did people will call us "do-gooders" and wonder about our hidden agenda. If we live righteously people think we are trying to be better than them and they are jealous. If we turn the other cheek we are called pacifists and cowards. If we pray in private and avoid showy acts of faith we are viewed as "not religious enough." You see that if we apply the Sermon on the Mount, lots of people will find a reason to criticize. So, what do we do? We apply Jesus' plan anyway.
We go to Celebrate Recovery and love people who are hurting, because even if everyone outside that group thinks we are spinning our wheels, we know that God works when we love those who are in distress (the least of these). We go to Belize, Navajo Nation, Appalachia, and Abbeville and we work on missional projects, giving our energy and self to problems way bigger than us, and we let God multiply our efforts and modify our hearts. And we come to God's house and worship, faithfully and frequently, not to be holy but to tell God and our fellow worshipers that God is the only reason for any good thing accomplished by our efforts.
John 15 says we will be wronged for looking like Jesus. But if we do look a little like Jesus, we will be in very good company on this earth and in saintly company in the world to come. Randy