I read an email this morning about a pastor who’s invested his life in his congregation but who’s now, quite frankly, being shafted by a disgruntled deacon. Sometimes ministry stinks.
Sometimes life stinks.
Stuff happens. Misunderstandings crop up within churches, in the workplace, and in families. We see circumstances through one lens; others look at the same circumstances but view them through their own lens. Strange, isn’t it, how those circumstances can be interpreted so differently? And how sometimes those interpretations seem so unfair.
When we feel as though we’re being misunderstood or mistreated, we’re often tempted to take a self-defensive stance. To don emotional body armor, pick up our swords, and head into battle. We want to right the wrongs and see justice served.
But perhaps there’s a better way.
Maybe we need cool our emotions, put down our swords, and ask the Lord to fight our battles for us—in His way and in His timing. So much easier said than done, I know. And yet so critical if we truly want God to be honored in and through our lives.
God is the One who knows every detail, every heart, every motive, every word, and every thought. He’s Truth embodied. Light streams from Him and penetrates every hidden place, every dark corner. He’s the righteous Judge. Surely we can trust Him to defend us. History tells us that others have learned to do so in the past, and their insights give us much to ponder:
“You are my King and my God. You command victories for Israel,” wrote the psalmist. “Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes. I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us. O God, we give glory to you all day long, and constantly praise your name.” (Psalm 44:4-8 NLT)
Besides focusing on the truth of God’s Word, here are three other actions we can take when we feel mistreated:
- Say no to fear and discouragement by praising the Lord for who He is—Truth, Light, righteous Judge, merciful Father, the One who carries our burdens and promises rest to the weary.
- Turn our negative emotions about those who are hurting us into prayers on their behalf. Ask God to bless them with a greater understanding of who He is and to create in them an insatiable desire for intimacy with Him.
- Remember that hurting people hurt people. The person who’s hurting you is likely stuck in fear or bitterness or insecurity and doesn’t realize it. He’s doesn’t “get” that Satan has taken a foothold in his life and is bent on destroying him. All the more reason to pray for him.
I’d love your feedback and wisdom. What other actions can we take when we feel mistreated?
#bgbg2 #Forgiveness #devotions