Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ

I’m Not A Princess And Neither Are You

I have a vivid imagination. I can imagine a myriad of scenarios and play them out in my head. I am most prone to do this when life is hard, I’m feeling extra stress, or things are not going my way. I get lost in thought with a particular, made-up story, and indulge myself in this for a good length of time before I realize what I’m doing. In my imagination it is always my ideal scenario. How things will go, how those things will affect and benefit me, how much better things would be. Eventually I stop myself, usually long after I should. You see, in all of my idealistic imaginings, I am always the center. I am the center and I am without sin. I never imagine what it would be like, if I were, as I actually am, a sinner, and how my choices and actions affect other people.

Thankfully, we don’t live in my imagination. But what we do instead is imagine ourselves in a way that is not true or realistic and act that out. Our expectations of others is often based on how we feel we should be treated. We don’t apply to ourselves the same judgement we use for everyone else. We make excuses and justifications for our own behaviours, while expecting perfection, grace and mercy from others.

Here’s the thing: I’m not a princess and neither are you.

We think we deserve to be treated a certain way, because we do not always see ourselves as we truly are. Sinners in need of a Savior.

We often expect from others, what only Christ can give. He is perfection, grace and mercy, and he lavishes those things on us. But we cannot receive those things from him, if we do not admit our need of them, our desperate need of him.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3

I know what some of you will say. I’m a daughter of the King. I see the memes floating around about straightening our crowns and similar things. It is true that God is our father and our inheritance is rich (Proverbs 8:21). Jesus tells us he’s going to prepare a place for us, a mansion even (John 14:2)! Some day we will see the fulfillment of all the promises of God in Christ Jesus. But for now, we are sojourners (1 Peter 2:11), this place is not our home (Hebrews 13:14). We are called to be slaves to Christ (Philippians 1:1), servants to others (1 Peter 4:10), lay down our lives (1 John 3:16), and take up our cross (Mark 8:34). Our own Lord and Savior was not the king that the people expected (John 6:14,15,18:36,37).

That doesn’t fit the narrative of #blessed or #tooblessedtobestressed, where things always go our way, and if they don’t, we make them. We are blessed, but our expectation should not reside in the world’s definition of what a blessing is. As we have learned, God’s thoughts and ways are not like ours, his ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).

…strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

I pray often for God’s mercy. And then I’ll get this irritating feeling that this is what God’s mercy looks like; sharing in Christ’s suffering (1 Peter 4:13). Do we think, as believers, that we deserve something different from what our Lord experienced? And yet, we don’t get what we deserve. Christ has paid our penalty (1 John 2:2). We don’t always get what we want, but we always get what we need (Philippians 1:19).

And our hope for you is sure, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you will share in our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:7

We can’t get from others what only Christ can give. Nor do we need to imagine a life of vanity that is all about us, indulgent, but not fulfilling. If our identity is found in Christ, we can live in that reality. Our hope is in him (Titus 2:13)!

 

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