We all have those days when nothing seems to be going right and the world is literally against us. The words people use, their actions, and their body language tell us “you suck!” and are the cause of what I’m going through and pain I’m experiencing right now. Whether you are to blame or not, there are days when you will be treated badly for no reason. The question we have to wrestle with and answer is, “How do we respond in situations like this?” Should we lash out and attack back or endure, knowing that we are innocent?
My first inclination is to lash out and attack back. I don’t like being accused of something that is not true. I don’t like being blamed for something that is not my fault. This weekend though, I was challenged to put that natural inclination aside and to respond instead with endurance and a gracious heart. My pastor spoke on 1 Peter 2: 18-25. It’s one of those passages in the Bible people don’t like quoting or even reading too often because of its message.
In this short letter to a group of people experiencing extreme physical, financial, and emotional persecution we learn four ways to respond to unfair treatment and unwarranted personal attacks.
- Our mindset should be one of perseverance and not revenge.
- We must remember that our actions will be an example for others to follow and speak louder than our words.
- The words we speak must not be harsh, derogatory, or inflammatory. If we choose to speak up, then our words should seek to bring about reconciliation.
- We must remember the grace that has been to shown us in the past and struggle to show grace to others as well.
This is a tough teaching but one that we all can strive to apply in our lives when a customer yells at us for no reason, a boss mistreats us at work, a loved one accuses us of something that is not true, or a friend gossips about us behind our back.
Make it a great day!