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Have you ever been misunderstood? Have you ever been misrepresented? Has anyone ever taken your words and motives and twisted them around and used them against you? If you live long enough in this world you are going to face that kind of a personal attack.
One preacher (I think anyone of us who has stood in the pulpit has had similary experiences) recalled an instance in another church when a certain group in that church took his preaching tapes and listened to them to find words and phrases they disagreed with. Those disagreeable sayings were brought up in a business meeting and used to attack him personally. It hurt at the time, but he concluded that it was a good lesson for him. It served to remind him that God’s servants will be attacked. It also reminded him to think more carefully about his words before saying them because he might be called on to give an account of them.
For the entire duration of his earthly ministry, Jesus was surrounded by constant controversy. Nearly everyone He met misunderstood Him and what He came to this world to do. Nearly everyone was guilty of misrepresenting His words and His works. The things He did and said in love were used to attack Him in hate!
What can we do about such things? Can we stop people from attacking us? No. People will not act fairly just because we wish they would. We can learn to watch our actions and words to minimize the opportunities we might be providing others to attack us, but in the final analysis, if they want to find something to criticize us, they will find something.
About the only other thing I can suggest about this is to accept that it will happen, and know that you’re in the very best company (Jesus’) and know that He sees and understands. Take comfort from His Spirit and act graciously toward all. In the final analysis, His opinion is the only one that counts.
PRAYER: It isn’t easy, Lord, when we are attacked unfairly, and we often respond very poorly. Help us not to strike back or seek retribution, but to act like you did when it happened to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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