Focus: Choosing to do the right thing
Proverbs 20:22 (NKJV) Do not say, “I will recompense evil”; wait for the Lord, and He will save you.
It’s so tempting to take things into our own hands when we have been offended. Especially when it’s not the first time or even the tenth time in one day. It’s hard to hold ourselves back from saying what we think and compensating in the same way we have been compensated. It would be a lot easier just to dish it back to that one who seems to take such pure pleasure in persecuting.
Forgiveness is extra hard when a wrong against us or someone we care about was not ‘accidental’…and yes, there will be those times when we have been pushed so hard for so long that it seems like it might be the right time to get a little justice on our own…
Even when we know the Lord and understand that He is the One Who should come to our rescue, it’s still hard to wait for Him. Why does it always seems like He’s late in our minds? According to our opinion, He should have stepped in so much sooner. What is He doing? Why is He waiting? How can we stand it any longer?
We may realize that God knows…and there’s a reason. But we’re tired of it and tempted.
When we get to the point where we feel this way, we are in a perfect position to advance in the kingdom if we can exercise our ability to keep still and hang on. What we have to continually remind ourselves of, is that this is a test.
Maybe it would help if we could imagine we are surrounded by a great cloud of unseen witnesses who are watching to see how we will manage. As they observe, they are wondering…will this time be any different than all the others? Will our attitude be any more enduring than before? Will we put our trust in God instead of ourselves during the heat of the conflict? Will we wait for Him to save us? Could we possibly persevere through this and not even flinch?
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Those are all honest questions, given our past history.
Whether you were raised in an atmosphere where there was conflict or not, there’s no getting used to someone who doesn’t want to get along. It’s equally hard to imagine that it could be fair for someone to get away with so much. But if we can handle the pressure and get through it with some level of patience and success, we will not have as much to regret about things we shouldn’t have said or done.
It really all comes down to the matter of our pride and whether we can take the wound without instinctively striking back.
When we decide to go against human nature, we are choosing Godliness.
The area where we feel the most pain, is the area that most needs to ‘die’. We made the decision to be crucified with Christ—to take up our cross daily and follow Him, so is it any wonder that we are feeling tortured?
It always comes back to the question, “What would Jesus do?”
Jesus was so creative in the way He handled people. He was just on a whole different plane. Could we be like that? Could we try to just be above our circumstances this time?
What good would it have done if Jesus had put Himself on the level of His offenders? We’d have the record of someone who fought back and lost. But, that’s not what we have, is it? As we view the trial of Jesus, He behaved with dignity in the face of ill-treatment. He kept His mouth shut and let His accusers have their way. They thought they were winning, but they weren’t. In the end, Jesus won the battle and God got the victory.
God wants us to win, too. He is hoping we will let Him save us. It’s really hard to remember that we win by not fighting. We win by not recompensing evil for evil. We win by waiting for Him.
So, we go the extra mile…this time. We willingly take our hands off the situation and let God be God. We not only choose to not get even…we draw deeply from the well of compassion God has dug in the depths of our heart and realize that this one who may not seem to deserve our love or forgiveness…really does.
Declaration: I will find new strength by going against human nature and choosing Godliness. I will not recompense evil. I will love and forgive. I will wait for the Lord and let Him save me. I will advance in the kingdom of God.