I wonder, are we quick to believe what’s unjust and untrue?
A dozen years ago, I traveled to Bolivia with a team of bloggers to share stories about the ministry of World Vision.
Although many moments touched my heart, there was one specific afternoon that made me think about mirrors, comparisons, judgments, and the way those things are influential in the ways we feel about others and ourselves.
The community, in a small mountain village, gathered together to share a meal with us.
As I looked around at the women, I noticed that their wardrobes were simple, they all wore their hair in braids they wrapped around their heads, and their smiles were huge. When we visited their homes I realized that there were no mirrors, no magazines filled with advertising, and no laptops opened up to social media.
And all I could think of was how we are tempted to judge each other based on appearance and the unjust and untrue opinions of others.
In Psalm 35, David was dealing with people whose comments about him were unjust and untrue.
Malicious witnesses testify against me.Psalm 35:11a, 15
They are glad now that I am in trouble;
they gleefully join together against me.
I am attacked by people I don’t even know;
they slander me constantly.
As I read those words, I couldn’t help but think about the posts that are common on social media. We hear that more and more people are struggling with discouragement and anxiety because of the way they are affected by the unjust and untrue words of others . . . many of whom they may not even know.
People have spoken and written things that are unjust and untrue since sin entered the world.
The question is . . . what should we do about it?
- Fight back?
- Be defensive?
- Fret about it indefinitely?
- Make ourselves more acceptable?
Let’s look at what Jesus said…
I tell you: do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, let him slap your left cheek too.Matthew 5:39 (GNT)
God blesses those who work for peace,Matthew 5:9–10
for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.John 15:19
Followers of Jesus should expect people to say negative and unkind things about them. Seriously, why would we expect the world to treat us any differently than it treated Jesus?
So again, what should we do about it?
We should do what David did and ask God to defend and protect us. David wrote…
You saw it, Lord; do not be silent.Psalm 35:22–24
Lord, do not be far from me.
Wake up and rise to my defense,
to my cause, my God and my Lord!
Vindicate me, Lord my God,
in keeping with your righteousness,
and do not let them rejoice over me.
The best thing to do when we are faced with personal injustice is…
Give it to God and live!
Sure, it’s normal to be upset when someone says or does something that hurts us . . . especially when it seems that it was done intentionally.
But we have a Savior who understands our pain . . . He experienced it and showed us what to do about it. We can give our pain to Him in the same way He gave His pain to the Father. And we can trust Him to give us what we need each day to LIVE!
Then I will rejoice in the Lord.Psalm 35:9–10
I will be glad because He rescues me.
With every bone in my body I will praise Him:
“Lord, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?
Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?”
A Prayer to Give All That’s Unjust and Untrue to God
Father, Jesus told us to follow His example and love and encourage one another; and yet, we fail. All around the world, people fail to take the time to really know and care about each other while they place value on temporary things like appearances, possessions, and positions. Please forgive us, Lord.
We all have experienced the pain caused by gossip and cruel words that are unjust and untrue. And when we’re hurt, it’s tempting to want to defend ourselves or to get even. But Your Word tells us to leave it all in Your very capable hands.
Your Word tells me that I can cast my cares on You because You care for me. (1 Peter 5:7) It says that You will supply every need. (Philippians 4:19) That You will not let me be tempted beyond my ability to endure with Your Spirit’s help. (1 Corinthians 10:13) And You tell me not to repay evil for evil but to leave judgment and wrath to You. (Romans 12:19)
I will trust You, Lord. I trust You to protect and defend me. I trust You to give me peace and strength. I trust You to fill me with hope and understanding. I love You. I give myself to You and trust You to guard my heart against all that is unjust and untrue. I thank and praise You now and forever. Amen.
When you and I are struggling with the pain of hurtful gossip and untruths we can be tempted to fight back but there truly is a better way.
Give it to God and live!
So, prayerfully give your pain to the Lord and trust Him to give you the peace, strength, hope, and understanding you need to live each day with joy.
The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.Psalm 28:7
May the Lord bless you and give you everything You need to live with hope and joy today.
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