So, how does being free from the world’s expectations of you change how you’re to act to it?
Well, in one of those signature “exactly the opposite of what the world does” moves, a freedom in Christ makes you able to subject yourselves further to people. When we’re good to people while still caring about what they think of us, we want something in return for our kindness. We want acceptance, or at least a reasonable facsimile of it, in order to keep giving. We get what we’re looking for, we continue to give; we don’t get what we’re looking for, we leave or get frustrated and/or desperate.
With the freedom that knowing our true value gives us, we can give as Christ did. You see, He served nearly everyone. Those who were sick got healed. Those who were lame walked. Those who were blind received their sight. Those who were demon-possessed were freed. Those who were lost found their Way. Even the Pharisees were taught, that both the people who had listened to the Pharisees might learn what the Pharisees really believed and that some of the Pharisees would repent. At the Last Supper, He washed His disciples’ feet, He who could command the host of Heaven to obey His every whim knelt down and cleaned the dirt off the feet of the faithful John, former tax collector Matthew, hotheaded Peter, and even Judas.
He did all this because, having been free from needing their love, He was able to love them purely, and having this pure love enabled Him to do things for people that no amount of self-seeking fake love ever could.
“So…I’m supposed to see myself as infinitely valuable, then allow others to walk all over me?”
YES! But it’s that attitude that highlights the difference. Jesus kept giving, even knowing what people would do to Him. He knew that most wouldn’t thank Him, that many would ignore or revile Him, and that He’d be crucified. He still gave. Willingly. And happily. Because He knew loved the people and because He knew His Father’s will was to bless them. Their rejection didn’t get Him down because He wasn’t looking to them to lift Him up.
Once you understand just how much God loves you and how little the opinions that others have of you matter, you will be able to love them with God’s love and finally be free…to serve those your Lord loves.