"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. So how should we respond? We’ll talk about that today on Faith & Finance.
- Before we get into how we should respond when others mistreat us, it’s important to examine ourselves first and to make sure we’re not mistreating others. As Jesus says in Matthew 7:5, “First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
- If you find that you’ve treated someone unfairly, repent and make amends, because you serve a just God. Proverbs 21:3 says, “To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.”
- WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE TREATED UNFAIRLY
- Now, what to do when you’re treated unfairly? 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.
- 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.”
- Now, that’s a pretty high bar to reach, but Peter goes on to tell us how to respond like Christ to injustice in verses 23 and 24. They read:
- “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.
- Now, 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.
- This brings up the question of whether Christians should sue or not. In 1 Corinthians 6 Paul says, “If you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers?”
- Paul is adamant that this is a terrible witness for Christ. He goes on to say, To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?”
- But note that Paul is only talking about Christians suing other Christians in civil courts. The civil courts are ordained by God to protect us from injustice, and nowhere does the Bible say we can’t use them when we’re wronged outside the church.
On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:
- Is there a good reason not to redeem savings bonds?
- Should you tithe on Social Security benefits?
- How do you determine the best investment strategy?
- Should you take money out of an IRA to pay off a mortgage?
Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can connect with a FaithFi Coach, join the FaithFi Community, and even download the free FaithFi app.