“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it, be very glad for a great reward awaits you in heaven and remember the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” Matthew 5: 11-12
As believers, we suffer a great deal on a daily basis. Our good intentions are misread by those who cannot understand God’s purpose for our lives. We may have the resilience to ignore or tolerate isolated incidents; but, how do we react to ongoing mistreatment? It is very difficult to endure mistreatment from friends or family. When we are wounded, the feelings of hurt and disappointment can quickly escalate to hatred and bitterness. Our self-worth begins to plummet, resulting in a sense of hopelessness. In addition, we may use isolation as a protective mechanism to prevent further rejection.
How do we prevent ourselves from becoming damaged? According to the Word of God, we are to consider persecution as a blessing. If we adhere to spiritual guidance, then we have a decision to make; we must allow God to resolve our battles. The steps to resolution involve seeing our tribulations through spiritual eyes. Pray for a spirit of forgiveness, and the courage to address the individual(s) in an honest and non-confrontational manner. Secondly, we must avoid premeditated retaliation or vengence. Finally, if a mutual agreement can not be reached, then we are to remove ourselves from the situation to prevent further wrongdoing. Trust in God: He has already worked it out for your good.
Dear God, it is a challenge to accept mistreatment as a blessing. Please enable me to believe in you, and view my life through spiritual eyes.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz