Thus Says The Lord…
Story by Don Allen
Reading this from one year ago today. This was at the beginning of the worst attack I have ever been a part of as a minister. It’s awesome to look back now at how it truly worked! No, it was not easy but so worth it! God was my defender! I had to learn some hard truths in real time in this season. Love will prevail. I survived and learned just how good God really is. Friends, hold on tight to God. People will do what they do. The important thing is how will you respond to what is being done. Love always wins.
A person I believed was my friend continues to make some very unkind statements about me publicly, My feelings basically vacillated between despondency and anger, even though I knew I needed to respond with joy. I read this recently: Men that have their spirits heated and enraged and rising in bitter resentment when they are injured act as if they thought some strange thing had happened to them. Whereas they are very foolish in so thinking for it is no strange thing at all but only what was to be expected in a world like this. They therefore do not act wisely that allow their spirits to be ruffled by the injuries they suffer.
This person is lashing out irresponsibly, justifying all he says as a “thus says the Lord” when the reality is, it’s just him saying it. He’s not being led by Holy Spirit. The idea that he and he alone is the only one to see my shortcomings and everyone else is “blind” should be enough to take pause and re-examine yourself. We know once someone goes public, their pride has to gain all the support they can find to prop up their false narrative. It’s happened to all of us in some form or fashion before. So, what to do?
The point is that if the Christian expects to be slandered and keeps his eyes focused on God when it happens, he will not be depressed over it.
Yet while it is true that it is part of our human nature to respond to personal attacks with sadness, anger, or bitterness, these feelings are part of our fallen humanity. They are not fruits of the Holy Spirit.
This kind of response is required of all of us because the Christian life is about the imitation of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). We are being molded into His image, so we are to strive to live as He lived. Our Lord was slandered and falsely accused of all kinds of offenses, but He opened not His mouth in protest (Isa. 53:7). Like a lamb, He accepted these vitriolic attacks, and, in the very moment of His passion, He prayed for the forgiveness of those who were attacking Him (Luke 23:34). This is how we are called to react to our enemies (1 Peter 4:13). Therefore, every false accusation, every slander, every ill word spoken about me is an opportunity for me to grow in my sanctification.
Oh sure, I had allowed my soul to become distressed, and that was sin. Instead of seeing the attack on me as an occasion to imitate Christ and to grow in my sanctification, I had fought constantly to want to defend myself. Others were feeding into the idea. How can you let him get away with that? Why aren’t you saying anything? So and so said he said, and they said…
The key to responding to attacks and insults as Christ would, is to nurture love for God.
As the love of God prevails, it tends to set persons above human injuries, in this sense, that the more they love God the more they will place all their happiness in him. They will look to God as their all and seek their happiness in portion in his favor, and thus not in the allotments of his providence alone. The more they love God, the less they set their hearts on their worldly interests, which are all that their enemies can touch.
We are moving on and I recommend everyone else do the same. We are called higher and shall take that road that Jesus walked!
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