Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wednesday's Woe - "The Great Reversal" or Right-Side-Up in an Upside-Down World?

Wednesday's Woe

"The Great Reversal"


Right-Side-Up in an Upside-Down World?

~Tommy and Angie Prince

If the New Testament is full of suffering, why are we surprised?

All the disciples suffered (all were martyred but one of the entire group of Apostles that closely followed Jesus)! So then, why are our "Assumptive Beliefs" the opposite...That life should be predictable, that we should be able to manage our own lives, that if we do the right things we will be kept safe-prosperous even, etc.

As a Christian, we are supposed to be exposed to The Truth. The world view has compromised and distorted the Christian gospel message.

"We have been lulled into a sense of complacency by our sense of invulnerability."

~Loss of the Assumptive World: A Theory of Traumatic Loss, Jeffrey Kauffman

(This statement was not said about us, Tommy and Angie Prince, though it very well could have been.)

Rather, it was said of America after "the shock of the 9/11 attacks" occurred.

That world-view we had all fallen for at some level, is no different than that world view the psychologists describe as our "Assumptive Beliefs" that come crashing down when a major tragedy occurs:

There are, however, as we have seen repeatedly...certain life events that bring us face-to-face with the fact that our existing assumptive world can no longer keep us safe. What follows (after such a major tragedy) is a painful and protracted struggle to find a new set of assumptions to replace those that are now obsolete.

The life events that cause the most difficult psychosocial {and I would add spiritual} transitions are those that violate core assumptions concerning

  • Self-trust, the assumption that, most of the time, I can cope with the world I meet;
  • Other-trust, the assumption that, when necessary, I can count on others to keep me safe; and
  • World-trust, the assumption that the world is a reasonably safe place.

Traumatic life events can undermine any or all of these assumptions of security.

~Loss of the Assumptive World: A Theory of Traumatic Loss, Jeffrey Kauffman


What if the tragedies we have all undergone that have turned our lives "upside-down" are in reality the events that are restoring us to Jesus' view of what is "Right-Side Up"?

What does Jesus' "Right-Side Up" view of the world look like? Quite the opposite of what we in the west believe about the successful, upwardly-mobile life, I'm afraid..

Why did Jesus tell the rich young ruler (one who seemed to be "managing" quite "well," having achieved a fortune even), that he should go and sell it all???

"Go...Sell all you have, and give to the poor..."

"If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then, come follow Me."

When the young man heard this, he went away sad for he had great wealth...

As He watched him go, Jesus told His disciples, "Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God's Kingdom? Let Me tell you, it's easier to gallop a camel through a needle's eye than for the rich to enter God's Kingdom."

The disciples were staggered. "Then who has any chance at all?"

Jesus looked hard at them and said,

"No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it."

Then Peter chimed in, "We left everything and followed You. What do we get out of it?"

Jesus replied, "Yes, you have followed Me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed Me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel.

"And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields -- whatever -- because of Me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life.

"This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first."

When did we fall for the Great Lie --that we should be self-sufficient, that people around us can be trusted to keep us safe, and that the world is a reasonably safe place...?

So tell us, what do you think...

Suffering: Exception or Rule?

Picture: http://weburbanist.com/2010/02/07/flip-this-home-10-unbelievable-upside-down-houses/
Loss of the Assumptive World: A Theory of Traumatic Loss, Jeffrey Kauffman, Editor, Dr. Therese Rando, Series Co-Editor, (Brunner-Routledge: New York), 2002, pp 238 - 239.
Scripture from The NIV and The Message, Matthew 19:16-21


1 comment:

mcProdigal said...

In my counseling, one of the questions I get often is this: "Why am I not happy?" I think it comes from how deeply the American Dream is embedded in our world view. Jesus exhorts us to pick up our cross (suffer) and follow him. I think there is "joy", an inner peace from being missional, but not "happiness".

I'm in a season of struggle with my teenage daughter, so I'm speaking from the hurting place. As a prodigal returned, I can say that abandoning your faith does not help.

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