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A Heart For God: Evil People, Dying to Self and 7 Responses When You're Wronged

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Evil People, Dying to Self and 7 Responses When You're Wronged

"'But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.'" (Matthew 5:39)

A professor in Bible college once told my class (of future pastors), "Don't go into the ministry unless you're ready to die." (It's funny what you remember from two decades ago.)

Of course, we really didn't know what that meant ~ because, until you're truly in the middle of something, experiencing it up close and personal (versus reading it in a book), that's the real classroom (the "school of hard knocks").

And it never feels good when you're mistreated, wronged, tricked, lied to, manipulated, taken advantage of, stolen from, your name is smeared, etc. (Been there? Done that?)

And when it really, really, really does hurt (like a slap in the face, punch in the gut, kick in the shins) is when the ill will comes from another "believer."

And yet it's part of the death process that my professor talked about for ministers (isn't it?) ~ and Christians, too ~ where we die to self (our fleshly responses to abuse) and embrace the life of Christ (the way He would respond to abuse).

And every single one of us is guilty of abusing Him (Jesus). We are. (Romans 3:23) And He's turned the cheek time and time and time again with us. He has. (Luke 23:34a)

And we're so good at sticking our chests out and parading about what spiritual stars we are.

But then we're wronged (and sometimes it's very, very deeply) and what's our response?

Here are seven choices...

7 Responses When You're Wronged:

1. Pray for the wrongdoer.
2. Wash their feet. (Jesus did with Judas.)
3. Truly forgive. (The prisoner forgiveness really frees is you.)
4. Break off the relationship. (Many times you just have to.)
5. Consider areas of wrongdoing towards others in your own life. (Matthew 7:3)
6. Avoid being suspicious of others.
7. Steer clear of bitterness.

(To listen to Matthew West's song: Forgiveness, click here.)

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Anonymous Christine Smith said...

Beautifully written and once again from your heart Mike! Before I started my ministry the Lord convicted me that I was to have no pride...NONE. Not allowed, period. I felt this very strongly and he sifted me of all pride. There have been several times in my ministry when I've been hurt by other believers, and instead of reflecting that hurt, I continue to reflect Christ. My focus is always on Him (John 3:30) and I will continue to feel the string of the arrows the enemy tosses my way. Serve for an Audience of One.

Christine @LifeVerse

7:38 AM  
Anonymous L'Tomay said...

Thank you for such a timely reminder. The truth that we slap Jesus in the face is profound. And the reality is if Jesus can forgive me of my many offenses, which He has, then surely I can forgive others. I am not saying it is always easy, but it is definitely doable. Forgiveness frees us to move forward and be a conduit of God's love.

4:08 AM  
Anonymous One Busy Mom said...

good stuff

3:54 AM  

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