Have you ever been hurt by a Christian? Maybe even a Christian leader?
It stings, doesn’t it? Someone whom you expect to act one way but so blatantly acts another. A person who fires hurtful words or mishandles a situation, and you didn’t see it coming. Why? Because they love Jesus. And aren’t people who love Jesus supposed to know better?
I find it much easier to overlook faults of those I know aren’t following Christ than I do those who are. I hold Christians to a higher standard, especially those in leadership positions. I recently encountered a situation just like this, and it pushed me back. My heart felt offended and completely caught off guard. My mind went in a million directions, and I wanted to set the record straight.
As I sifted through the situation, though, two things happened that I want to share with you . . . Two steps to take before you answer your offender:
1. Seek Godly counsel.
Not because I meant to, but because I always run straight to my man when my heart hurts, I hurried over to Luke and spilled it. The longer I talked the shakier my voice grew as my confusion and outrage inflated. And Luke stopped me right there. He spoke truth. He challenged me to offer the benefit of the doubt. He reminded me how often I need others to give me the benefit of the doubt, too. His outside perspective and unbroken heart mended mine with stitches of love.
Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.” Romans 12:21 (NLT)
2. Bear with each other.
The more I forced myself to talk to God, the more I knew what I had to do: Forgive – for real. Choose to set aside my own hurt and honor God with my actions. Forgive because I’ve been forgiven and will certainly need more forgiveness before the sun sets today. Then set it aside. The longer you stew the more you surrender your joy. I love how one translation says it, “Put up with each other.” I guess it’s just that simple.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13 (NLT)
If someone you trusted in Christ has hurt you, I want to tell you I’m sorry. I know how you feel. The sword of the righteous cuts deeper than others. I pray your wound heals quickly. But I challenge you today to seek the antidote. Then we can get back to the business that brings abundance!
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