Christ our loving Saviour came to the world to redeem us from sin and its negative consequences. His love for us made Him to leave His throne in Heaven in order to bear our sins and die in our stead. When He came to the world however, He was rejected of men although He went about doing good. His kindness was repaid with betrayal by one of His chosen twelve, he was also denied by a disciple so close to His heart. The Jews in His nation were against the gospel of grace He brought. He was beaten with stripes and eventually was crucified.
As God’s children, we sometimes experience same; our good deeds are paid back with ill. Sometimes, the one we’ve showed so much love turns back to hurt us. The boss you’ve been loyal to may betray you and the friend to whom you opened up may use the information against you. It’s been getting a snake in return for the rabbit you offered. Jesus too had been there and it shouldn’t be surprising if we experience the same.
Job’s friends, who came with the mind to console him after so much loss and calamities, ended up adding to his pains by saying things that did not fit his specific situation. They wanted him to realize he was a sinner when the Lord had no such record against Job. Even his wife uttered the unbelievable, asking him to deny the God he so much loved. We may also get unfriendly criticisms from people around us like the one given to Job by his friends. We expect understanding but rather get misunderstood and criticized.
Sometimes, we get unfriendly and destructive criticisms from people we expect to know better; judgment is passed on us for things we should have had appreciation. Christ was told He cast out devils by Belzeebub, the ruler of demons (Luke 11:15). At other times, issues of choice and values that the scripture does not condemn are used to cast aspersion on others. Things that are not scripturally described as sinful are used to judge a believer by another who has a contrary opinion and unbelievers alike. The scribes and Pharisees found fault with the disciples for eating with unwashed hands. “Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables…(Matthew 15:1-4). Judas Iscariot had no words of appreciation for the woman with the alabaster box of ointment. (John 12:3-5)
Rom 14:1-6 enjoins us not to judge by trivial issues such as eating only herbs or eating every food. Neither should we judge one another based on which day of the week is esteemed higher than the others.
Despite being misunderstood and rejected by men, Christ did not stop loving. He did not get discouraged. Rather, He prayed for them “for they know not what they do”. So friend, if you suffer any of these, don’t be discouraged. Jesus knows exactly how you feel. Turn it over to Him. Don’t allow ill feelings but permit these situations to bring out the best in you. Tell your frustrations to God in prayers and let the situation fuel your prayers rather than make you bitter. Do not repay with malice, bitterness, resentment or any other unwholesome attitude but rather forgive and that always. Two wrongs cannot make a right and the Lord will not spare your malice while blaming the other for hurting you. It is when a rose is pressed that the fragrance comes out better. Look to Jesus and be like Him too, because He’s been there and He understands.
Let go and let God!