People often filter what we say through the lenses of their own experiences and come to a faulty conclusion. This gives us two options: to try to correct their perception or to ignore their remarks. I usually endeavor to clarify what I said, but if they still misunderstand, then I just change the subject. I learned to do this because of Jesus’ example. He did not attempt to maintain His reputation.
When He was reviled and misunderstood, He did not berate in return (1 Peter 2:23-24). His life was the epitome of kindness, compassion, forgiveness and acceptance, and ours can be too (Ephesians 4:32). Whether the offense is a major event, such as physical abuse, or if it consists of habitual, smaller impositions such as lies and betrayal, we can still forgive the offenders (Matthew 5:44).
When we consider the life of Christ and what He endured on this earth, it helps us not to grow weary of the way we are overlooked, discounted, abused, ridiculed and exploited (Hebrews 12:3). When we bless those who curse us and pray for those who hurt or use us (Luke 6:28), God continually blesses us and gives us so many reasons to rejoice (Psalm 109:28).
We do not act as a doormat, but we do turn the other cheek. We do not submit to abuse, but we do forgive the abuser. We can care for and nurture our needs and still love others through the love of God in us. It is only by sincerely wishing others the best, that our healing is complete. The only person in our life, which we need to impress, is God; and He loves us enough to die for us.
Father God, make us vessels of Your peace; when we are condemned, help us to bless; when we are wounded, help us to share Your healing love with the offender. Remind us that You did not defend your reputation and there is no reason for us to do so either. Your opinion of us is the only one that really matters. Keep us focused on eternity and help us to realize that this world will soon end.
Thought for the Day
If we do not repay evil or insult in kind, but give love in return, we will inherit God’s blessings. – 1 Peter 3:9