Friday, March 28, 2008

when treated unjustly

We're told repeatedly in the New Testament that our calling in Jesus is a call to return evil with good, to refuse to retaliate for any wrong done to us, and thus to follow in Jesus' steps.

I have found this helpful for my own life. Who doesn't become angry over an injustice or sin done to them, particularly from those who should know better, that is from other Christians.

We don't want to be walking around with any martyr complex, but life does dish out some nasty little offerings sometimes, which do hurt. A typical worldly way of handling it is just to brush it off in a tough manner. Where is that way found in Scripture? The psalms are full of complaints to God over human enemies in view of the fact that these problems are not right. And God is the God of making things right in the bringing in of his salvation. This is evident in places in the psalms (one prime example).

And Jesus challenges his enemies, yet he goes on, embracing God's will for him in loving his enemies, and in his unique death, dying for them so that they might be saved. And we're to take the same path- so that sinners can be brought to the Savior and other Christians can be drawn closer to God and all of us to each other, in Jesus- yes, right in the face of the trouble.

And we must remember that God will make things right as we trust in him. He will vindicate us as his children, and he will vindicate himself and the truth as found in Jesus, in our lives, as we trust in him to do so.

This is an important aspect of the gospel we're called to proclaim, that we're to live out in this world. By God's grace in Jesus, we can do this. And grow in it, and thus be a blessing of God to others.

What thought might you have on this?

7 comments:

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel Mc,
Hopefully you'll read this. I left another comment on a comment you had left earlier here.

Rachel Mc said...

Yes, I read your post everyday and I truly am enjoying it and learning a lot. I hesitate to comment because I feel so "less" theological than all the other responders that I wonder if I add anything to the conversation! I have found that returning good for evil is tough but doable. I guess my big "issue" is that the only way I could achieve this was to close down, be alone a lot, and pull away from some family and friends. However, they did not understand but I knew it is what God wanted because I journaled like crazy (found your blog!) and found a new, different, relationship with God.
This may sound bizarre but even though my life was completely torn apart, I cherish the new relationship I have with God and realize that if I didn't go thru the dark times I never would have this relationship with God. Very few people can understand that.

NaNcY said...

your post made me think about GOOD.

when i ask why we am to do this... i think...this is for our good that God wants for us to return evil with good.

good is stronger than evil.

good is God's strength for us to use.

i consider good to be more than an adjective to describe something, but it is something in itself first before being used to describe.

i think that good it is an attitude of heart and mind that the Spirit helps us with. it is a healing balm. a quality that unites. a force over evil.

God is good...says a lot.

good is a powerful word, but, more than that it is a powerful way to live. not as the world gives. good is not our own power, but the power given to us.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel,
Thanks, and thanks for your testimony. So very good. And an encouragement to us all!

And your words are helpful. We're all just learners together, in Jesus, and journeying together, in this life.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
I like your thoughts on goodness. In Romans I remember that it is said that few would die for a righteous person, though for a good person, someone might dare to die, contrasted to Jesus dying for us sinners.

And goodness is a fruit of the Spirit. And certainly the opposite of evil.

We Christians should be characterized and known for goodness. And as Paul said in Titus, we Christians need to be devoted to good works.

Thanks.

NaNcY said...

we can have goodness because God fills us with His Good for He is Good and He is God.

yes, the Holy Spirit of God fills us.

we can share what He gives to us for what He gives is true and good.

known for goodness? what does that mean?

actually it is hard to see a difference sometimes. i have been treated with more acceptance from non-believers than from many said believers. why is that?

is it me? maybe that is not what it means to be known for goodness.

believers often stick to believers of their own group. like a click. is that goodness?

some believers often snub others that dress differently or don't act correctly in their own community...but will help someone across the globe that they have not met. is that goodness?

some believers often do not even talk to their own neighbors.
is that goodness?

believers do not alway speak good out of their mouths.
is that goodness?

some believers do not even accept other believers because of petty differences. is that goodness?

could it be the we as believers do not see the good in others because we do not share the good that is given to us?
is that what goodness is?

Ted M. Gossard said...

Very tough, troubling, but real questions, Nancy. Searching.

Of course none of us have arrived, but we need to work at goodness as a community, starting with each other, and working out to all others.

If we just understood the nature of goodness from the grace of God in Christ, that would help us in this surely. All of life is about grace. All goodness from God comes as a gift. We must receive it and know we're pure recipients of it, ever in need of it. And then we'll accept all others who likewise are in that same need. As well as give what has been given to us to all others, as you so well say.

Thanks.