Christ's example of love, possible?


#1

This should probably be in two different threads, but both topics are connected and deal with problems that I have experienced within my relationships with others in my life to some degree.
Before Christ experienced physical suffering on the cross, He suffered the rejection of His love by His people when they chose to give Barabbas freedom instead of Him. Despite this rejection He did not waiver in His love for them and the rest of creation. He even asked His Father to forgive the men that killed Him. Is it possible for us to have this kind of love toward one another?
I have had my love rejected and I find it hard to even look at that person anymore. Not because of negative feelings, but because of the pain that it causes me to know that I am not accepted nor the love that I offer. I continue to try to be a friend toward him and display the love that I still have for him through my actions, but when is the point reached where, due to the suffering that it causes me, I should stop trying to good for him? Or to put it another way, when does one stop putting aside one’s own needs for another’s needs? Is this an un-Christ like way of looking at how we should treat one another? I feel that I am doing a diservice to the Christ-like spirit that I want to portray to others by cutting him out of my life simply to make me feel better. I do not feel that this is how Christ would have treated another in this situation, therefore it is not how I want to treat him.
Thoughts, comments, discussion…


#2

I have a tough time with this as well—especially that love-your-enemies stuff, when my motif is battle.

Yet we are called to dour combat with the forces of evil. We are at war with principalities and powers.

I haven’t figured this out.


#3

You should stop doing Good to your neighbor at the same point that Christ would, which is never. Even if, for your own health and well being, you choose not to associate with this person any more you should still pray for him and wish to see him again in heaven. This is doing the highest good which is hoping for his salvation as well as your own.

Or to put it another way, when does one stop putting aside one’s own needs for another’s needs? Is this an un-Christ like way of looking at how we should treat one another?

This is indeed a difficult question - especially since we do not know the details of the situation. I’m really not sure if the question is asked as it should be for one wishing to follow Christ. Overall I will answer like this.
In our Journey to Holiness, our needs (Wills) should become more and more aligned with the Will of Christ. We should “Put on Christ”. Our one need is for Christ and our one Will is Christ’s Will in our life. We seek to show Christ to the World through us. By doing this we will see what Christ would want us to do in a given situation.
Now, having said that, the question becomes one of how is it that you r own needs are being put asside for the needs of another. Is it a situation that is not healthy, aeither physically or emotionally? Is it a situation where it mains you simply because the person does not requite your feelings and it hurts your pride?

I feel that I am doing a diservice to the Christ-like spirit that I want to portray to others by cutting him out of my life simply to make me feel better. I do not feel that this is how Christ would have treated another in this situation, therefore it is not how I want to treat him.
Thoughts, comments, discussion…

There may indeed be a need for you to pull away from the person in order to sort these things out. Remember Christ would often go off to pray alone, even though hundreds or thousands wanted favors and teaching and healing from Him.
The root is to determine why you want to cut him out of your life. I believe God has given you this pain as a opportunity for you to grow closer to Him. Pray and rely on the answer you get from your Heavenly Father.

Peace
James


#4

Yes, I think it is certinally possible to love as Christ did. After JPII was shot, when he recovered he managed to forgive the man that shot him. JPII was an amazing man but he was also very human.

There are so many saints that managed to forgive those who do wrong.

In chapter 16 of Matthew’s Gospel, Christ tells us to take up our cross and deny ourselves, v 24. This is very difficult and not easy to live out. These sorts of situations might be what Christ was talking about.

I’m afraid I’ve been in your situation many many times. The best thing I can do is say God, I can’t forgive this person under my own strength, but if you live in me and give me the strength I will have the power to do it.

In our eyes the people that don’t love us are hard to love, but try and remember that Christ loves that person, Christ still sees some good even if we don’t. Try and find that good.

I don’t think Christ would have told us to love those who hurt us if it wasn’t possible.


#5

This could be a thread all by itself.

We are indeed called to battle with the forces of evil. That does not mean we are to use their “weapons” for this is indeed a form of “Psychological Warfare”.

You say that your “motif is battle”. Let’s try to approach it from that perspective.

Someone hurts you, or wrongs you in some way. Your natural “motif” is to strike back. Why? What do you wish to accomplish by striking back? Will striking back prove that you are no pushover, or that you are superior? Will harming the other person bring that person any closer to God, or is it more likely to just set up additional barriers?

If we start by trying our best not to give our neighbor cause to hurt us then many wrongs can be avoided. If we ignore and smooth over small slights or disagreements our neighbor sees us as loving and reasonable. If the wrong is great and requires some sort of recompense (property or personal injury), we can approach it as only wanting what is truly needed for repair/healing. Then we must not hold the issue agianst our neighbor but forgive and ask forgiveness as necessary. (very often it takes two to make a fight).

Using the weapons of Love and forgiveness against the weapons of Hate and revenge builds up the kingdom of God. The Evil one cannot use these weapons, but can seduce us into believing we are using his weapons of hate and revenge for a “good” purpose. This is never the case. Every time we give into hate and revenge, we weaken ourselves. Each tmie we forgive we build strength.
Learning to Love our enemies is the toughest boot camp in the world and it is one we had better not wash-out of, for God will, “Forgive Us our Trespasses as We forgive those who Trespass against Us”.

Hope some of this helps.

Peace
James


#6

I do remember that there was a scripture in the gospel where Christ was saying something like it is possible to be like him in everyway, people can do everything that he did, through the father or the power of the holy spirit.

…something like that…


#7

Thank you for your input. It is not so much a question of forgiveness for me. I have forgiven him many times and continue to find myself placed in the situation where I need to do it again. I find that the situation has been very emotionally destructive to me, not just because my feelings are not reciprocated. I can accept that just as I can accept that not everyone is going to like me and want to be my friend.
I think what I was wondering was more of what was mention about being a push over. I find myself questioning my actions frequently when I feel that I am being taken advantage of and used because I am willing to do something for someone for nothing in return but a thank you. (I’m not talking about just this person). Do other people feel that way ever? How do you overcome that feeling and continue to be the person that God wants you to be? Not so much a why am I doing this, but more of why has God put me in the position to do this for them, when they will only take it and use it for their advantage rather than ‘push it forward’. I’m sorry I hope that makes some sense.
Little backround. I am very new to the Church and went through RCIA in the spring. My upbringing never placed me in church, but I always believed in God. So bear with me on the Bible versus and such I dont know them well, and there are many books that I have never read.


#8

I think many people feel this way at some time or another.
But God does not ask us to “keep score”. He asks us to treat others as we WANT them to treat us.
Another verse that comes to mind is where Jesus tells the rich young man to sell everything and give tot he poor and he will have treasure in heaven.
Yet another is where Jesus tells the disciples to do things for those who CANNOT repay us so that we have treasure in heaven.

All of that being said, I guess that you need to decide if you want to continue associating with the particular person you feel is “using” you. It may be the more loving thing to withdraw from them if you being there is simply contributing to their bad behavior.
IN any case it might be best to “Lay-back” from them while you discern how you wish to handle it.

God Bless

Peace
James


#9

Interesting, but please **don’t attribute personal motives to me **when you do not know them.

The church does not embrace pacifism. Let’s leave it at that.


#10

I was not aware that I had “attributed personal motives” to you. If I did so it was unintentional and I apologize.

Peace
James


#11

I try to look at it like this; I am going to be the example and maybe they are just having a bad day or not used to someone being will to help for nothing in return. Based on my example they realize that it is possible and do it for someone else. Okay so that makes me look like the best person in the whole world, but that is not what my intention is, just a quick overview of how I try to look at it.
As far as not associating with those that make me feel used the most frequently, this would mainly be work related and I cant really do that unless I get another job and I think it would probably be the same regardless. There are always going to be those people out there that behave that way. Your words have all helped though and give me the understanding that I need of how I should be handling the situations by being true to myself and acting as I always have, without expecting anything in return. Just being nice because it makes me feel good to be nice. :slight_smile:


#12

I agree with James here, we’re not striking back for ourselves, but allowing God to ‘strike back’ in His way, with His redeeming love, Who makes His sun to shine on the righteous and the unrighteous. St Paul also reminds us of this in Romans 12. Read Romans 12 and pray for the Holy Spirit to transform you in the way this scripture promises.

At the same time, God hasn’t called you to do all of this in your own strength. In fact, He hasn’t called you to do any of it in your own strength. If, with prayer, you still can’t face this person, then you have to withdraw physically, don’t let someone hurt you beyond what you can bear, but you need to go on praying for them. There are plenty of times when Jesus withdrew from a hostile crowd, because His time had not yet come. If even He knew when He wasn’t ready, we also need to be aware of our limitations, but also trust in God’s unlimited power.

Blessings. :slight_smile:


#13

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