It can be infuriating to stand back and watch people get away with vindictive behavior. It’s even worse to hear them do it in the name of God.
Speaking up doesn’t always work. Most end up with their name added to the hit list.
It’s hard to spend years watching manipulation and cruelty being called ‘God’s will’.
It’s one thing to be reviled because you’re a Christian. Has that even happened to you? Not me. I’ve never been made fun of for my faith. Non-believers have repeatedly shown themselves to be more accepting and supportive of faith ventures than Christians.
More often are the instances where a professed Christian will criticize you in the name of God. That’s the worst. When one of your own uses the Utmost Authority to crush you into something he can control.
Why don’t you do something? How long are you going to sit there with your hands folded in your lap? -David to God in Psalm 74:11
David wasn’t around to experience life after Jesus, but we are. Jesus took the stick of justice on Himself and every time I want someone to pay for what they do to me, I’m asking Jesus to take a little extra… for me. My sense of stability and well-being need to be balanced and I’m demanding the scales be calibrated in my favor. With that attitude, I’ll be sitting in the wrong spot when Jesus comes in to the temple to over turn the tables.
You might not know what you’re doing, but when you want someone to pay for their sins, you’re assuming that they haven’t been paid already. If you decide that the pain they caused you is worth more than what Jesus already did, then you might consider the staggering profundity of your pride. My heart aches for the person who is so far removed from their own darkness that they cannot connect with the magnitude of what Jesus did. It has to eat them alive to see wrongs never made right and to feel God sitting complacently in His rocking chair chewing a piece of mint He dug out of His empty tea glass. To hear the irritating slurrrps of the last drops of tea trapped in between the ice cubes and the way they ting against the glass when He rights it or snap between His teeth when He crunches it.
‘How long are you going to sit there…?’
Every single thing a person does is forgivable. The price has already been paid. Justice has already been served. Would you want to dismiss Jesus as you escort the target of your irritation to the cross and watch the pain on his face while you rip into him? Would you want to dismiss Jesus? Because that means you can’t have Him either.
Every single thing is forgivable. The price is paid. Justice served. Would you want to ask Jesus to crawl back up there and take a few more hits? Do you want to hold the whip?
When a person doesn’t like you, doesn’t include you, when they criticize you and treat your name with disdain ‘on behalf of Jesus’, don’t worry. Don’t fight back and don’t return the favor. Count yourself ‘blessed’.
Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! -Luke 6:22 ESV
It’s not because ‘they’ll get what’s coming to them’. That’s pride. It’s because the aptitude of grace and selflessness is a reflection of who Jesus is and the truth of that is disconcerting to those who have forgotten. There will come a day when the cruelty of the one who hurts you in the name of Jesus will be seen for what it is. In that day, they will need you to give all of the grace you have received for your own failures and give it to them. It’s your long awaited chance to make the biggest statement of faith you’ve ever made in your life: to act like your Father. Stoop low, take the hit and forgive them. That’s how you glorify God, that’s how you get to be just like Him.
Pride lands you flat on your face; humility prepares you for honors. -Proverbs 29:23