VERSES | JAN 18, 2023

When You’re Treated Unfairly

"Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O Lord, deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me" — Psalm 31:5 and 15.

Those are the words of David, who suffered severe mistreatment at the hands of Saul. We’re all treated unfairly from time to time. It could be by a family member, a friend, a boss or co-worker, or someone you’re doing business with who may be trying to cheat you. So how should you respond?

Money is often the issue when we interact with others, and it’s a powerful motivator to strike back when we feel we’re being mistreated. Losing money we feel we deserve to have can make us feel bitter.

But Hebrews 12:15 tells us, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no ‘root of bitterness’ springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.”

We live in a fallen world filled with fallen people, and we’ll all experience mistreatment at one time or another.

It’s important to remember that you’re one of those fallen people, too. Your first instinct might be to lash out against someone who’s mistreating you. That is not a biblical response to mistreatment. Instead, look to Christ as your model. No one suffered more injustice and mistreatment than Jesus.

In 1 Peter 2:20-22, the apostle tells us how a Christian should respond to mistreatment. It reads, “When you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.”

That’s a high bar to reach, but Peter goes on to tell us how to respond like Christ to injustice in verses 23 and 24. “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

The key to responding like Christ to injustice is trusting God to work for good in all your affairs.

Psalm 37:4-6 tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.”

One of the greatest examples of a Christ-like response to injustice is found in Genesis and the story of Joseph. He was first sold into slavery by his brothers, then wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison.

Yet Joseph never reacted in an ungodly manner to injustice. He even went on to save his brothers and all of Israel when famine struck. Joseph trusted God Who eventually used Joseph’s mistreatment in a powerful way. And God tests us the same way when we suffer injustice. He expects us to respond like Christ.

This doesn’t mean that we must quietly accept every injustice that comes our way. It’s not unbiblical to state your case in truth and love, but the result must be left to God.

You can also listen to the related podcast on this topic.

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