Woes

“God has a way of giving by the cartloads to those who give away by shovelfuls.”

Charles Spurgeon

The other day I was in a hurry to get to work. I quickly took a shower and ran to get dressed. Out the door I went. I jogged to my car and hopped in. I then drove to work, and I went the speed limit…maybe. It wasn’t until I got to work and was working for a couple of hours that I noticed that there was something off.

I looked at the shirt I was wearing, and something wasn’t quite right. The seams were visible on the sleeves. The buttons were hidden on the wrong side. The fit was uncomfortable. I had put my shirt on inside-out.

As I thought about this mishap, I thought about how, as Christians, our lives should be inside-out compared to the people of the world. Just like how I looked different from others around me, People of God should look different from the world. It should be obvious that our values and our beliefs are opposite to those around us.

Our God is a God of the upside-down. Inside-out and reverse is the way of His Kingdom. When the world says one thing, our God says the other. What man praises our God opposes.

The perfect examples are the Beatitudes and the Woes in Luke 6.

Jesus said if you are poor now, do not be dismayed for you will have something much greater than money, you will be gifted with the Kingdom of God. And if you are hungry now, if your belly is rumbling and your bones are aching, fear not, for one day you will be satisfied. If tears are filling your eyes and every day is another sorrow, weep no more for you will be laughing with joy for all eternity. For those of you who are hated, mocked, excluded, and reviled on my account. Do not fret, for your reward will be great in heaven.

On the other hand, not joy but sorrow will come upon you who are rich, spending your money on pointless frivolities and unnecessary luxuries. You have already received your prize so expect no eternal reward. Sadness awaits you whose bellies are full, who sit by lazily and bloated while the hungry sit on your doorstep. Soon your places will be switched. Anguish knocks on the door of those of you who laugh in the face of the pain around you. Who sit by unfazed and unmoved by others, who are weighed down by the burdens of life. Those of you who are popular, who everyone loves, and whose pride swells and ego balloons, expect heartbreak in your future.

Where the world lifts up those who focus only on themselves, our God shames them. Where the world exalts those, who spend their money foolishly and on comfort, God judges them. Where the world praises those who fly to the top of the food chain, God humbles them.

We serve the God of the upside-down and inside-out kingdom.

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