I think that one of the hardest things to deal with is when people speak badly or falsely about you. Our natural tendency is to defend ourselves! Set the story straight! After all, it’s right in Proverbs:
Prov 18:17 17 Any story sounds true until someone sets the record straight. NLT
But if we are truly following after the example of Jesus, we need to do what He did. He shows us in Mark 15:3-5:
3 Then the leading priests accused him of many crimes, 4 and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to say something? What about all these charges against you?” 5 But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise. NLT
Did you ever really think about what kind of things they might have been saying? I wonder what crimes they accused Him of? All we know is that it was ‘many’ and that Jesus did not defend Himself. That is hard!! I have a hard time not defending myself when I am lied about!
One day I was thinking about a situation in which I felt I had been wronged. I knew that the right thing to do was to forgive and move on. I had a little discussion with God about it, I wanted to know HOW in the world could I forgive such horrible things done to me??? In my heart I heard a still small voice say, ‘how did Jesus forgive?’ This verse popped in my head:
Luke 23:33-34 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” NIV
I don’t think that any of us really understand what we are doing when we hurt others, especially Christians, we are all part of one body, Christ’s body.
If I speak wrongly of another Christian, I am speaking wrongly of myself. Ouch! That one is almost a little too much for me, but think about it… God wants us to forgive and put the situation in His hands.
Rom 12:19-21 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. NIV
This is such a powerful verse. By doing good, you can conquer evil! Trust God, He will take care of your enemies.
Part 3 coming soon…