Have you ever had someone hate you based on a total falsehood? I have and it’s not fun. How do you deal with that? Do you try to prove yourself to them until they finally believe you? Do you ignore them and never talk with them again? If so, what if that person is someone as close to you as a brother? What then?
All very difficult questions and, really, there isn’t an easy answer. Many of us have been there in one form or another. People have not believed us, they have lied about us, they spoke about us behind our backs. It’s not easy because the natural instinct is to fight back and to defend ourselves.
I’ve been one who can take only so much before I push back. I remember when I was about 14 years old and one of the more popular athletes in school continued to pick on me. We were walking to class and he just wouldn’t stop. He punched me in the arm and that was all I could take, I turned around with flames in my eyes, raised my fist, and he ran. He was scared. He never bullied me again after that.
So, yes, there are times we need to stand up for ourselves and defend our honor. There are times when, after a certain point, there’s just nothing we can do to help someone see the truth. It’s at that point when we need to let go. I’ve been there in my life and, believe me, it’s not easy.
There is a light at the end of that dark tunnel. Like this photo today of an old building that was falling apart. The roof had caved in and the windows were shattered. There was nothing left but a shell. Yet, at the end of that day, the sun shown through the holes in the walls and made for a beautiful scene.
We may have relationships that have totally collapsed under the weight of misunderstandings, unforgiveness, or just pure hate. We may even have had to walk away from them to protect our own hearts from the emotional pain of continually being rejected. It may be a family member, a friend, or a co-worker.
Whoever it is, it doesn’t matter. The truth of what we know is what matters. If we hold onto that truth and trust God that He will help make things right, we can begin to see the person in a different light. Yes, we may need to stand up for ourselves from time to time, but that doesn’t mean we need to be hateful about it. In fact, Jesus said to turn the other cheek when someone slaps us and to pray for those who wrongfully accuse us.
I want to believe that there is hope. That, no matter how broken a relationship is, that there can be a good outcome in the end. It’s that hope which keeps me going and keeps me praying for those who choose not to believe the truth and live in unforgiveness.
So, today, at the start of what looks to be a beautiful weekend, I want to let go of those chains that beset and pray for those who are stuck in their unforgiveness. I also want to let go and let God. It’s so much easier that way… Trust me!...
Wishing you all a great weekend ahead!