As I was trying to come up for a title for this post I was trying to think of something along the lines of, "this is for my friends who have chosen to do the Harder thing...go the Difficult route".
And then I thought of the verse, "For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." ( Mat 7:14)
You know, if a path is "narrow" than that means you dont have too many people walking along beside you, now does it?! And so sometimes it feels pretty lonely walking along doing what you feel is Right.
Anyway, after reading a blog post of a friend today, absolutely understanding where she was coming from...and then reading a letter from another friend bemoaning the insults of a fellow Sister who didnt seem to think she was "focusing on the right things"...I started to think just exactly what it means to choose Christ over Man. It may seem "easy" enough to stand firm against non-believers ( after all, they wouldnt understand, right?) but what about your fellow brothers and sisters?! Shouldnt they understand what your sacrifices are all about? Shouldnt they understand that you've had to make choices in your life? Had to make certain things priority over other?!
Ahhhh...there's the rub! It is no incidental thing that Christ said that He would turn Son against Father, Brother against Brother...its because it would Happen to you too.
Days will come when you will be called, maybe in something little...maybe in something much bigger..to do that which seems Crazy. Or wrong. Or weird. Or just plain stupid.
"He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." ( Luke 16:15)
"But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." ( 1 Sam16:7)
Now, don't get me wrong...I'm definitely not telling you to just ignore the Righteous advice of those you trust. But, what I am saying is to be encouraged in your Path. I'm saying that there will be times that you will be asked to lay aside your Pride ( that's right! Sometimes we care an awful lot what other people think of us: whether its our achievements or its what someone might think of us as a Christian...we care. ) sometimes taking up our Cross means laying down all sorts of things we didnt think necessarily "needed" to be laid aside....but Christ knows the hearts of man and He is faithful to show us the way to the narrow gate...you know, the gate made for just you. The gate that no one else was made to walk through. Its your gate. Your gate to God. So go ahead, start squeezing.