No matter how well we conduct our lives, there will be those that attack our character, our integrity, those who choose to tear people down and live miserable lives.
Let me set up an example out of my own past. When I worked at my former church, I used to lead a woman’s group as well as conduct one-on-one counseling. One of the women went rogue and spread a rumor that I’d said something derogatory. However, the words she accused me of spewing would never come out of my mouth because it didn’t line up with the Word of God, and honestly, it was beyond ridiculous.
Admittedly, I allowed the rumor to wreck my emotions. I didn’t want that lie to mar my reputation as a teacher and confidant. My whole focus was to help people. I tried to speak with my accuser about the issue and she promptly shut me down and told me I was guilty.
In a jumble of gut wrenching fear, I went to my pastor/boss and told him about the incident. I’ll never forget his healing words: “Melissa, I don’t believe that you would ever say that. I know your track record and so does everyone you’ve ministered to. Don’t let one person’s view and opinion be a thorn in your side.”
The weight of my world lifted and peace that transcends understanding drifted over me. I was trusted. I was valued. Not only by the pastoral staff, but by God himself. I knew in that moment I would have a long career in ministry.
People will always interpret what others say out of the issues of their own heart. How she received my words had nothing to do with me and everything to do with her fortified belief system.
Isaiah 54:17 But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced];
Although I had an opportunity to fester in bitterness and bear a wound that would only harm me, I readily forgave and prayed for her.
To tell the truth, I rarely think about this incident from my past because I’ve been set so free from it that I can’t even recall her name.
Who Jesus sets free is free indeed. John 8:36
Try putting yourself in the proverbial shoes of someone who hurt you. What are they suffering with/from that they would lash out?
Pray for the desire to extend mercy. It likely won’t happen overnight, but the desire will come.
According to Matthew 6:14, forgive those who’ve done you wrong.
Choose peace over offence, even when the person attacking your character is someone close to you, whom you love.
Remember, everything you need to rise out of the ashes of the past lives on the inside of you.
Please reach out if you have a question or a prayer concern. I would love to hear from you. MelissaA@TriangleNewsLeader.com.