From the Pastor How Do We Respond?
We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we respond. Many struggles come as problems and pressures that sometimes cause pain. Others come as temptations, trials, and tribulations. — L. Lionel Kendrick
Every life has troubles. Some have many troubles… others only a few… but everyone has troubles. Many bad situations are imposed and are beyond our control, not our fault. We didn’t choose them, but they came along anyway. It’s a fact; life is like that.
In my profession, I have seen pastors and other ministers who experienced tough times serving churches. And honestly, while many were victims of unfair actions on the part of others, too many ministers made matters worse by how they reacted to problems. Over-reacting is a mistake. Hitting back hard doesn’t help. Endless talking, forming allies and coalitions, getting angry, and making things all about you are counter-productive as well. Many times, non-reaction is the best course to follow.
Jesus was criticized and attacked unfairly. He was misunderstood, lied about, and misrepresented. Sometimes he offered explanations. Other times he laid out his critics with strident descriptions of their behavior (read what he said about the Pharisees in Matthew 23:13-29, Whew!) But many times, he said nothing, did nothing, and let the troubles and attacks pass him by. It is hard to do, but turning the other cheek works.
Try it in your adversarial relationships today. Ask yourself if striking back or meeting insult for insult will help, or will it only make matters worse? Pray for discernment because we need God’s help knowing what to do.
God’s best to you,