The other day I got ticked off. I was accused of something which I knew was not true. I got ‘hot under the collar’: blood pressure went up, stress hormones production tripled, headache set in, I was ready to strike back. . . . . . . .you get the idea.
What does God want me to do when such situations occur? He reminded me that:
1. It’s time to examine myself.
When something negative is said to me or about me, it hurts. It’s time to ask myself: Is what’s being said true in any way? (A great way to find out is to ask my honest accountability partner. Let not pride, arrogance, imbalance, or ignorance fool me into not having one.) Whether the answer is yes or no, the lessons continue.
2. It’s time to do what Jesus did.
When someone says something unpleasant, my ego is on the chopping block, and it doesn’t like it. Then I must listen to God’s advice: “For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in His steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. (1 Peter 2: 21, 23)
3. It’s time to pass along the matter to God.
1 Peter 2: 23 continues: “He (Jesus) left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.” It is so tempting to become contemptuous, smear the other person, get a cheering team, and walk with on air of vindication. Should I be tempted to think that God doesn’t care, “Don’t forget how the Lord your God has led you through the desert for the past forty years. He wanted to find out if you were truly willing to obey Him and depend on Him.” (Deut. 8:2).
4. It’s time to go to the offending/offended person.
Jesus taught (Matthew 18: 15-17) that if a person offends me, I must go to him/her privately (easier said than done), and work it out (not wait for him/her come to me). And, don’t let the outcome hinder me from peace and moving on with my life. (Matthew 5: 47, 48: If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.)
5. It’s time to expunge my record of murder.
Jesus’ words always cut through me: ““You have heard it said, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.” (Matthew 5: 21, 22)
6. It’s time to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus.
The enemy doesn’t generally tempt me to do major crimes; he subtly works on taking my eyes off Jesus. Annoyances, inconveniences, busyness, offenses, injustices, false accusations, etc., are very effective tools in the devil’s arsenal. Hebrews 12: 2-3 is a perpetual reminder: “We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete. He endured the shame of being nailed to a cross, because He knew that later on He would be glad He did. Now He is seated at the right side of God’s throne! So keep your mind on Jesus, who put up with many insults from sinners. Then you won’t get discouraged and give up.”
There you have it, my soul. Now, stick with Jesus, and enjoy a peaceful day. —
Pastor, Clifton Adventist Church