It is fascinating to me that you can take a group of people and sit them down in front of someone that they don’t trust, like, or hold in high regard and when that person sets out a criteria/expectations for them they will tend to respond negatively. Assuming that the individual in front of them is setting them up for failure, expecting too much, or trying to make them look like a fool.
You can then take this same group of people and the same criteria/expectation – but this time place them in front of a person that they love, trust, and admire and they will listen to the list of expectations and perceive that the person believes in them, trusts them to accomplish what has been laid out, and has their best interests in mind.
The list of expectations can be identical, the list can be long with high expectations…but how we receive it depends on what we believe about the person giving us the ‘input’.
I experience this almost daily when talking to people about how we should live as followers of G_d. When the person across from me views G_d as ‘out to get them’, ‘find all their flaws’, ‘ready to punish them’ – they have a very different reaction to biblical commands then the person that believs that G_d has their best interest in mind, that He believes in their ability to do all that He’s commanded, and He wants what is best for them.
While reading books/commentaries/articles on the Sermon on the Mount – I continuously see (read) these varied responses to Jesus’ commands…how are you at receiving His input?
I pray that you are each learning to see that G_d is a god of setting all things right – whether that be in you or within the world around you – that He has you and this creation’s best interest(s) in mind – He wants the best for you.