Yesterday, it wasn’t much of a consolation for me to know that everybody, at some point, has to deal with frustrating, difficult people. But in life, everybody does. Years ago, when Dan was a pastor, I facetiously joked that pastoring would be really great, if it wasn’t for people.
Everybody deals with irrate individuals and unjust accusations at some point or other. Everybody.The big question I wrestled with all day yesterday, and admittedly, for much of the night, was not, “What would Jesus do?” but frankly, “What does He require me to do about it?”
Jesus is Jesus, and He can do whatever He wants to– even if it means overthrowing the tables of the moneychangers. But because He did, that doesn’t give me license to react in my own anger, feel sorry for myself, or retaliate when something is clearly unjust. So, I wonder, how does Jesus require me to deal with situations that are unjust?
Yesterday at work we received a scathing email listing accusations over how our staff had been caring for and managing a property (one of about 50 we manage in our business.) It was orchestrated as an attempt to force the release from a business contract with us. Some of the criticisms were grossly exaggerated, others clearly fabricated.
It was one of those situations that was so wrong that I literally hurt over such an unkind, harsh attack toward honorable people I respect. I hurt for my husband Dan who took the hit as frontman, and for our staff who had so diligently and faithfully cared for the property, yet were subjected to false, scathing accusations. I hurt for the whole team in our business whose hard work and ethical practices had kept the property in excellent condition– the contractors who worked with us, the maintenance team, the topnotch cleaning crew– everyone who had practiced such excellence.
I’m embarrassed to admit that unkind thoughts of retaliation entered my mind. It would have given me some sense of satisfaction to wave the proof of his false accusations under his nose, or to sarcastically address the inconsistencies of his irrational accusations– maybe even call him a jerk. Yet ultimately– how does God require me to react?
Providentially, I had been reading through the Psalms this month, and last evening, I read out loud to Dan: “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side when people rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; then over us would have gone the raging waters. Blessed be the Lord, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers, the snare is broken and we have escaped! Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 124.)
David’s laments over his “enemies” have long baffled and fascinated me. Like David, I so often wonder how it is that anyone would “rise up against us” if we are obediently following the commands of God and doing all things, including our work, to the glory of God. Yet all of us have had to deal with it at some point or other, because sin is ever-present in this world. We, who sin, shouldn’t be shocked or derailed when injustice comes against us. Jesus, on the other hand– the Perfect One– suffered the ultimate injustice, and we already know “What would Jesus do” because He already did it– submitted with the absolute confidence that ultimately, justice was in the hand of His Father.
One thing I know for sure is that sin should never have such potent power that it robs us of the peace we have in Christ Jesus. Our greatest challenge–like David’s was– is to fix our gaze so fully and completely upon God that we can rest in confidence that He will ultimately fight our battles for us, for His own glory. That ought to keep us in perfect peace– as our minds are stayed on Him.
There are so many circumstances right now in life and in our nation that are so unjust. It’s especially unsettling when the unrighteous appear to get exactly what they had set out to get by acts of deceit. Injustice is all around us. It’s inevitable. But for us, injustice is only the secondary issue. The main issue is what we do when we are the subject of injustice. We must never compromise what is true and right– but we must never lose our peace in Christ Jesus, knowing that justice belongs in His hands.
So, what does God require of us when we are unjustly treated?
“Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act…
…Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land…” (Psalm 37.)
And who knows? Maybe some day that very incident could become the catalyst that drives an ungodly individual to repentence and faith in Christ.
Powered by Facebook Comments