"In this way, the last shall be first and the first shall be last..." Matthew 20:16
Doing the right thing and serving God in this world is tough. I like to think that God places me in certain places & situations for a reason. I'm not sure what the reason is at the time that I am in them, but there is a reason for my suffering.
Take work, for instance. Talk about suffering in a secular world. Surprisingly, it's not the materialism that I'm struggling with, but it's more of a pride issue. I keep on wondering why it is that the people who declare that they work so hard, and yet don't do anything, are the first ones to get credited and recoginized for work they didn't do. They are the first people to advance ahead in the work place even though they aren't as competent as they appear.
It's like people boarding a plane. The people who sit in the rear have to suffer being all the way in the back and are on the plane the longest. The people who are sitting toward the front of the plane (in coach) get to get off first. The front of the plane doesn't deplane last, nor does the back of the plane get to deplane first.
There's a parable about the laborers in the field. There's a group of guys who worked all day long and got the same amount as the guys who worked for only an hour.
My first reaction is "What the * ?!? How is that fair?" But, my reaction really should be one of humility. I should be assured that I am doing my job to the best of my ability and have the right attitude rather than be jealous or prideful of others who are receiving credit. Eventually, we will receive the proper credit for our works and that service, whether it be in the secular world or for the Lord, should be our primary objective. My reward for my loyalty and dedication to my work may not be receiving the recognition that I deserve. What God's will is for me and my work will always be right, just, and fair. I need to keep on being completely obedient. He cares for the humble..." (Psalms 138:6 NLT). From the world's viewpoint, subjecting myself to authority means that I WILL suffer, but I need to remind myself that the truth of God is that when I submit myself to His authority in my life, I will be blessed .
Proverbs 29:23 says, "A man's pride will bring him low, but he who is of a humble spirit will obtain honor."
**Sigh**The struggle continues...