Enduring opposition

I’m going to be very personal here, but that’s ok in a blog once in a while, isn’t it?

There’s a tiny little three-word snippet of a phrase in the Bible that drew my attention and encourages me in my effort to raise awareness about mental illness. It tells about Jesus’ crucifixion, something that involves not only physical pain, but shame. Yet Jesus “scorned its shame.” He was so focussed on doing God’s will that He didn’t care what people thought. He accepted the humiliation. People accused Him of the most unreasonable things, but Jesus did not allow anything to stand in the way of doing what was right.

Here’s what the writer, the apostle Paul, had to say in context in Hebrews 12:1-3

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

That speaks volumes to me because I know that having my name out there for everyone to see as having BPD is a dangerous thing. Many consider having such an illness as shameful – and extremely so.

But reading about what Jesus went through, accepting what the world threw at Him though He was only doing what was right, encourages me to do the same. As a follower of Jesus, I feel I must do what I can to help create a better world for people with mental illness, regardless of the cost.

It probably won’t make life easy. But I do believe it will make for a meaningful life, a life lived to serve God and the many people suffering from the effects of stigma.

…But if I’m to do this I know I must keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and the example He sets. Jesus, the One I follow.