Someone Has Done Me Wrong
Read Matthew Chapter 5
Mt 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Man, does God expect the impossible of us, or what! Some of clearest instructions from Jesus’ mouth were things that we consider and say, “How in the world can I do that?” As one of those rare older people who enjoy Facebook, I see a lot of posts from people which describe something terrible that someone has done to them. It seems that many Christians can hardly wait to vent some frustration over some wrong that has been done to them. It really shouldn’t be that way.
No good thing comes from our rushing to spill our guts over the wrongs done to us. And certainly, that venting should never, ever be done through a public arena. That is true even if no names are mentioned. It’s pretty likely that someone will figure out who has done the “wrong.” We would be much better served to take our pain to our Lord, and only our Lord.
There were a lot of ice bucket challenges in the news in 2014, in an effort to benefit the cause of ALS, a serious degenerative disease which inevitably leads to a slow death. It’s a good cause, generally speaking, even though there is some controversy over where some of the money goes. That’s another story. As we close this devotion, I would like to issue a different challenge to anyone who reads this. The challenge: The next time you are offended or hurt by someone, I would challenge you to:
1. Not tell anyone else about it. That may be a very difficult thing to do. Most of us can hardly wait to tell someone else about how badly we have been wronged. “Do you know what __________ did to me??” Why do we do that? Does it alleviate the problem? Does it heal your wound? Does it calm your soul? No to all of the above. It usually feeds our displeasure rather than alleviating it.
2. Do something nice for them. It doesn’t have to be anything big. They don’t even have to know you did it; in fact it’s probably better if they don’t. Use your imagination, and prayer, to come up with an idea.
3. Pray for them. Ask the Lord to bless them, speak to their heart, and provide healing for them. There’s always a reason why someone hurts another person. It won’t be a good reason, because there are no good reasons for hurting others. But there is something within them which needs healing.
I am guessing that if we do those things, we will feel much better than if we followed our regular practice of venting and stewing. Aside from that, I am very confident that our Lord will bless us and begin to heal our open wound.
As an application to our SSA, we may have some old wounds which haven’t healed. There will be some which cannot be resolved through the measures mentioned above. But our attitude toward those who have hurt us, and our way of thinking about them, can be altered positively just by our willingness to place it all in our Master’s hands. It’s not an easy thing to do, but we should begin the process. We won’t get any healing until we do.
Dt 32:35 It is Mine to avenge; I will repay.
Lk 6:27 “But I tell you who hear Me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Pr 25:21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. 22 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.
There is a good reason why there are so many passages which convey this message. Let’s find out why, by listening to our Lord and obeying His advice.
Prayer: Lord, this is so hard! Please help us to see things Your way instead of satisfying our fleshly instincts.