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Briscoe.Assignment5.REL371 - Nathan Briscoe REL371 July 5...

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Nathan Briscoe REL371 July 5, 2010 Assignment 5 Jesus on Delayed Gratification In my reading of the New Testament, I find Jesus to have spoken a distinctly different message than conventional wisdom does. In life there are many common- sense mantras and proverbs that we follow instinctively, but they are diametrically opposed to those of Jesus. I propose that the reason for this is that Jesus spoke from a decidedly lofty, eternal mindset. If there is no God in heaven and no higher morality here on earth, what greater virtue is there than to survive by whatever means necessary? Self-preservation is then the highest morality. But Jesus taught his followers rather the concept of delayed gratification--the idea that hardship, sadness, poverty, or even death on Earth is the catalyst for rewards at a later moment on our human timeline (and one that goes past the grave). One such example of Jesus' teachings that are contrary to conventional wisdom due to this concept of delayed gratification was a divine contradiction of terrestrial hierarchy: "If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all." (Mark 9:35 KJV) I find this teaching contrary to conventional wisdom in that it states servants shall be first (in God's kingdom) and that whomever seeks to be lifted up should bring themselves down. We know that the servants of today and yesteryear's lives are forgotten in our histories, and that there is little (if any at all) glory to be found in the life of servitude (unless the media has a field day). But Jesus spoke of a delayed gratification. Jesus also called his followers to go against convention in their caring of others:
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"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44 KJV) Human nature finds much anger upon being mistreated. I find much entitlement and
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