Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.
3 minutes reading time (607 words)
When we “Think” we have been wronged by John Gray
Recently, a man mocked me which was very offensive. I told two mutual acquaintances about it which is gossip. It did not serve God only my weakness. I had already read John's article so had to reread it and pray. The scriptures are very plain about our actions and attitudes when we are faced with these type things.
GRANDPA SAYS – “THINK ON THESE THINGS: “What if everybody acted just like you?”
When we “Think” we have been wronged do we keep score and add to the tally for that person, or do we choose to suffer the consequences of being wronged? Paul asks an insightful question --- “… Why not rather be defrauded [suffer, take or accept the wrong]? (1Cor 6:7), i.e., Why not choose to be wronged rather than mar your witness of Jesus Christ? Paul says to the Corinthians that it is better to be wronged and be at peace --- “Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men.” (Rom 12:17-18).
Folks (Believers and unbelievers) surround us every day. They see us on good days and bad. They see our day-to-day behaviors, and they see what we do when we feel slighted or mistreated. They witness if we choose to be wronged for the sake of Christ or if we live by the principle of always being right --- no matter what it does to our witness for Christ. They see whether or not our witness for Christ is more valuable to us than our resentments and bitterness. Our choices about peaceful relationships with others, speaks much more loudly than our words --- “See that none render unto any one evil for evil; but always follow after that which is good, one toward another, and toward all.” (1Th 5:15).
When we invite and unforgiving spirit to live with us it brings some extra baggage called grudging resentment. Folks, grudges facilitate all sort of non-edifying thoughts and actions. However, our love for God (and one another) pleads with us to accept God’s peace plan at the price of being wronged. Our savior suffered the greatest wrong every inflicted and His love for us paid a debt that He did not owe for all of us that owed a debt that we could not pay. We need to be about following the example He gave us --- “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully…. when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” (1Pe 2:19-21).
Folks, when we live in bitterness (with an unforgiving spirit) the process of moving towards serious spiritual compromise is accelerated. Sadly, we do not even realize we are on this journey because the first thing that the unforgiving spirit does to us is to deceive our conscience so that we feel that we are justified in our unforgiving activities --- while our conscience takes a nap.
Frequently the enemy entices Christians to harbor an unforgiving spirit. Such bitterness, fault-finding and hatred inflicts a severe blow upon our spiritual life. We must realize that if we are unforgiving, then we are unforgiven.”
“By forgiveness inspired, let all our days
With various holiness be crowned,
Let truth and goodness, prayer and praise
In all abide, in all abound.” ~ (Thomas Gibbons)
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