As Jesus is the cornerstone upon which the Church is built, so are his teachings the unifying cornerstone of Christian doctrine.

Megalomania or Suffering

When I hear us in those overly enthusiastic moments, make statements like, "We're gonna take this city for Christ!" or, "We need to dream big dreams!" I can't help think of those poor souls who wander the halls of our insane assylums. The mental disease is called megalomania. Of course, even quite sane people can be sucked into this sort of delusion.

When I contrast that with Jesus' own statements in Matthew 16:21-23, and a similar reaction from the disciples, I see that our thoughts are not God's thoughts. The disciples were indignant when Jesus predicted his suffering instead of what they would think was a conquest. Our human thoughts are for triumph and big-noting our own gospel efforts. We see huge crowds and large incomes as greater victory than quiet faithfulness and steadfast overcoming in the face of suffering.

Jesus' thoughts were on suffering for this world. Peter's thoughts were on a more worldly, outwardly impressive victory. That's when Jesus uttered that famous statement to Peter, "Get behind me Satan!" Wow!

What would Jesus say to our puny efforts when we sound like loud strutting braggarts and circus side-show hawkers? The more we shout, "Victory!" do we look and sound more like defeat? When we have suffered and been rejected for our faith, and have scars to prove it, and yet been found faithful, are we not then the real victors?

Jesus did not talk and strut about like a megalomaniac. His victory was via the vehicle of rejection and suffering. Our thoughts are not God's thoughts. What often looks like defeat in our lives is often real victory in Christ.

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