To Be a Christian is To Be Contrarian

I know that life is meant for the giving; that being in this world means being with and for others in this world. The greatest difficulty in giving is that it often means giving up. What I give, I give up to be able to give it away. And because I am a finite being with finite resources, the greatest fear I have in giving is that I would run out of these resources for myself.

Versus this common sense wisdom, Jesus says that when you give it away, it all comes back to you. When I give, I grow and I grow better and become more. Many of the teachings of Jesus went against the grain. He was contrarian and walked the road less traveled. His sayings and his life were a paradox. When the common attitude was ‘a tooth for a tooth’, he preached love and forgiveness. When the disciples asked him who will be first in his kingdom, he said the last will be first. For anyone who would be a master and a leader, he asked them to be humble and serve. And in the end, he showed us that death is not the end but actually but the beginning.

I have often been contrarian myself. In my younger years, one of the seminary fathers told me rather exasperatedly that my motto in life should have been ‘Ego autem contra.’ But I loved being contrarian just for the heck of it, just to be different and sometimes just to rile others. Jesus was contrarain out of a deep understanding and an even deeper love for us. And when one is moved consistently by love, it does not matter anymore what the rewards are. One does not count the cost anymore. And one gives and serves without asking for any rewards. Then all these things will be added unto me, even without me asking.

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age–houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields with persecutions–and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
Mark 10:28-31

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