being a Christian, if you read the Sermon on the Mount, is all about turning the standard way of doing things upside down and doing them God's way. think you're blessed if you're rich and happy and well-liked? nope. he says you're blessed if you are poor, mourning, and persecuted. this puts you in a position where you can receive from the Lord, and that is where you want to be.
his ideas are so extraordinary, so... impossible. you're not just sinning if you murder someone - Jesus is setting the line WAY back at holding contempt for someone in your heart. it's not good enough to not hit someone back if they hit you, but you should instead show them that there's a different way to live, by giving them the other cheek as well. your identity, your power, your life is not defined by who they say you are. making yourself less will show them that there is more. and, the kicker - don't just love your neighbor as yourself, as if that isn't hard enough. but do this: love your enemies.
i am too self-centered for that. seriously? you want me to LOVE people who have hurt me? you want me to love people who don't like me? but, love holds no record of wrongs. love isn't easily angered. love always hopes, always trusts, always perseveres. how the heck do i treat someone mean like THAT? how do i forgive someone who doesn't care that they hurt me? how do i trust someone who lies and pretends like they don't?
i guess it has to start with forgetting about myself. it's not about me. there is a higher purpose than my life - God has a plan. he has a plan to redeem the world. he is going to turn this place upside down and make it a place where servants are leaders, where peace reigns, where hope prevails. he is going to make the blind see, the deaf hear, & set the captives free. this is the hope i have - that one day things will be perfect, the way they were meant to be. now i just have to learn how to let go of myself & love freely, the way He loves.
love will usher in the new kingdom.