Monday, July 1, 2013

"Don't Be Such a Martyr"

We have all heard the phrase "Don't be such a martyr."
It means, stop glorifying your struggle. But it also means stop struggling, or sacrificing, for no reason. More often than not, people don't choose to sacrifice for no reason.  Fairly often, the reason for the sacrifice is something friends and family don't understand.  So it is seen as unnecessary and they are encouraged to quit when it hurts.

Now, we all know victims whose lives are hard because they imagine pain and trial where there ought to be none.  I have played the victim many times in my life.  And there is real pain bound up in that behavior, real fear that must be actively replaced with faith.

Majority populations and people in power often say that minorities or lower class people are acting like martyrs, claiming to be persecuted when really they just are not driven enough to rise above their circumstances.

In the predominant definition of a martyr, someone gives his/her life for a cause they believe in.  Many of us don't use martyr to mean that anymore because in western civilization in 2013 it is rare to give your life on purpose.  You either unintentionally die from illness or are killed in some tragic accident.  We are not a group of cultures that die for causes.  

So many believe that God's dominant desire from us is that we live as those who follow Him, rather than die in a blaze of glory.  As a general rule, I agree.  I know it is easier to die than to live through certain pains, struggles, and battles with losses as well as victories.  Martyrdom has been historically considered the ultimate sacrifice - giving up something you want, your life, for something you want more.  But for me, personally, giving up my life would be easy.  Staying alive and fighting through is the hard thing.  I have to give up simplicity and ease and predictability in order to glorify God in the way I have been called.

Some people might wonder why I am doing this forty-day book study A Call to Die, why I am making myself write so much, study so hard.  It's summer break, I could be relaxing. Relaxing can't serve God? (Of course it can. Sometimes it's the only thing that can.)

I never go many weeks without being approached by a man.  In general, it doesn't progress very far because we don't see eye-to-eye about the purpose of life and faith.  But in recent years I have met a couple of men who do hold to all the same ideals I do.  But it's not my time to focus on them or on romance.  Right now is a preparation season (another one) for my next several months of teaching and building bridges (more on that later).  So I have to give up romance, even healthy romance, for personal development.  Not every opportunity is the best one for this season.  Sacrifice.

Check out this poem by Janette...ikz.  It's called "HypoChristian."

Normally poems like that make me uncomfortable.  She is asking for too much (although everything that she challenges us to do mirrors the Bible) and she is asking for it so intensely.  But what she is doing right that so many are afraid to do is forcing us to come face to face with our priorities.  Do we want to be "Christians," to follow God, or do we not?  Because if we do, we have to do what God has said we need to.  We have to sacrifice.

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