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 are the losses caused by other’s carelessness.
Then there are the deliberate attacks of my enemies.
Then there are the times when I am attacked by family and friends, especially when they justify it by claiming that I deserve it and they are doing it “for my own good.”
I find it easier to ask God for help or provision than to praise him for what he has recently done in my life?
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 I ask God to show me if I am suffering for my own misdeeds. If so, it is no big deal to suffer patiently and learn the lesson involved. Is not, then happy am I for so persecuted the prophets which were before me. I Peter 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when I be buffeted for my faults, I shall take it patiently? but if, when I do well, and suffer for it, I take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
Next, ask myself why the rejection and criticism hit me so hard. I, for example am I a severe co-dependent and must always please everyone and have them approve me in order to feel OK about myself.
Do I long to be bitter, but I know that taking it personal makes no sense when I am the chief of sinners. However, maybe it is ok to be bitter if I can focus on how the other person attacking me has, in the process, hurt those I love. This is called TAKING UP A FAULT and always results in hurting the one I love more than the original event hurt them.
RULE: When someone sins and their choices cause me loss and pain, who is sinned against? Who is the victim? Who stands to benefit?
God is sinned against, the victim is the sinner, I am the one who stands to gain if I 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.