Some thoughts in regards to a friend who is being shunned by family:
God allows us to experience suffering and often does His best work in ways we would rather alter. Suffering hits us differently. It’s not so much the size of the loss or the physical pain as it is how personal the source of the pain is. There are the so-called “acts of God” you know, a tree falls on your car. This actually happened to my son William in Kalamazoo during a storm. Thank God he wasn’t hurt. Then there the losses caused by other’s carelessness. Then there the deliberate attacks of our enemies. The most emotionally painful suffering comes when we are attacked by family and friends, especially when they justify it by claiming that we deserve it and they are doing it “for your own good.”
Psalms 41:5 KJV Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it. All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt. An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more. YEA, MINE OWN FAMILIAR FRIEND, IN WHOM I TRUSTED, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. But thou, O LORD, be merciful unto me, and raise me up, that I may requite them.
OK, pause and review all the tools we’ve covered and ask yourself, “where do I begin?”
You got it! Worship God by praying, THANKS! HELP! SHOW ME YOUR WILL!
Next ask God to show you if you are suffering for your own misdeeds. If so, it is no big deal to suffer patiently and learn the lesson involved. Is not, then happy are you for so persecuted the prophets which were before you. I Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
Next, ask yourself why the rejection and criticism hit you so hard. I, for example am a severe co-dependent and must always please everyone and have them approve me in order to feel OK about myself. Are you focussed, not on your own loss, but, on the loss that the judgment is causing a third party. (Such as grandchildren?) Remember that taking up a fault for a third party ALWAYS causes the third party more damage than whatever you would save them from. Have you considered the loss to the judgmental person themselves?
RULE: When someone sins and their choices cause you loss and pain, who is sinned against? Who is the victim? Who stands to benefit?
God is sinned against, the victim is the sinner, you are the one who stands to gain if you walk the fiery trial with God.
Psalm 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
Luke 23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. .
I peter 3:4 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.
Read Psalm 73. Perhaps the most balancing and healing focus is to realize the awful consequences the other person is pulling down on themselves. Of course this is harder when the other person is all puffed up and believe that their sin is actually righteousness.How to decide if they are righteous judges and we are the sinners, or they are sinning in their judgment and we are suffering for righteousness? The key is in attitude more than in theology. Tune in on my next blog for thoughts on this.