|Grave mark of Mordecai and Esther (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
There is something about humans. Have you realized that when too many people are engaged in something that is wrong, it begins to feel right? When you see too many people doing something that you feel is not quite right, after a while, that same thing begins to feel Ok, and you are enticed to join the multitude.
Life is easier when we go along with the flow. Things just seem to work themselves out when you just play along. The difficult part of life, the part that is not so enjoyable is the part thatis not quite crowded. When you try to be different, it can be tough. When you attempt to opt out and stand out from the pack, it can be quite a struggle.
My quiet time this morning took me to the story of Mordecai. It is a story that we have read over and over again. Two things made him stand out from the rest of the Royal Officials.
What Made Him Stand Out From The Rest?
- He did not hide his beliefs. He did not shy away from letting the people know that his beliefs are different from theirs. With his humility and the way he tutored Esther, there is no way that he may have been cocky when letting them know. He may not have carried a microphone to start shouting all over the place. He may not have disturbed the peace of his neighbors by waking up every morning with loud singing and clapping of hands to wake neighbors so that they see he worships a different God.
How did the Royal officials discover that Mordecai was a Jew? His life-style revealed who he is. He was dedicated. So dedicated and loyal that he can risk his life to save his king. Mordecai worked hard. He was not an eye-service worker or staff. He did not crave for recognition. Eventually, recognition located him. His hard work and dedication, the way he upheld his beliefs, all worked out for his good.
2. Obedience: The Jews were commanded from the beginning not to bow down to any other. He never forgot that commandment. Time passed. So many forgot about it and went their way worshiping the gods of the multitude. Others just went along with the flow to avoid embarrassment. Some took the easy route which is, where ever they settled, they joined the people there to bow down to what ever image that is erected for worship.
Sticking to the original commandment must have been a very difficult thing to do. Opting to remain standing at a time when every one has gone face down for Mordecai. Opting to say no when all his colleagues said yes! Having the guts to even kneel down five times a day to pray when no other Royal Official did that would have been very difficult for Mordecai.
It is fun when we do what every one is doing. It is hard work when we stand up for what we believe in at a time when no one else is supportive.
The Effect Of Opting To Be Different:
You may create enemies for yourselves when you try to stand by your principles. People will be angry that you are not in support of their actions. People will find ways to bring you down. Some may set traps for you to see that you are dragged in the mud.
Have you ever noticed that some friends get over being mad at you very quickly? Then there are others who get mad and hold that grudge for days, weeks, months or even years. Waiting for an opportunity to pounce at you. Their pride is hurt and they are not going to forgive you.
Haman was like that. He held a grudge against Mordecai and his people. He plotted to wipe them all off the face of the earth. He felt insulted by Mordecai and was not willing to let go. He did not know that many times people who try to take revenge get caught up in a very destructive net that has no escape route. Keeping that grudge was very unhealthy. He could have caused deadly heart diseases for himself. Holding that grudge showed that he was hateful and wicked.
Just like many people who take it upon themselves to revenge, do you know that he did not succeed? Only few people actually do succeed if at all. Revenge can be deadly.
The quest for revenge is what led to his eventual death.