Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Above the Fray

“Why are some people so mean?” the young woman tearfully asked. Two co-workers at a new job were going out of their way to make things difficult. At the same time, she was going through a painful divorce. To top it off, the fallout from the broken marriage was affecting friendships she had thought could be counted on.

“I made such a fool of myself,” she lamented, referring to a specific episode when, out of hurt and anger she said and did things she immediately regretted.

“You also did the right thing afterward,” I encouraged her. “You swiftly apologized, both to the ones you lashed out at and to those who witnessed the incident.”

“I just don’t get it,” she said. “Ever since I have committed my life to Christ, people who I thought were my friends have turned on me.”

Many Christians have been confronted by challenges like this person is facing, I think we are fighting a battle on two fronts—personal and spiritual. When others attack us, whether in words or actions, they not only want to hurt us emotionally, they also want to prove that Christianity is a bunch of hooey that doesn’t make a lick of difference in a person’s life.

People tried to hurt and discredit Jesus, and they want to do the same to us as Christians today. If they can do that, then they don’t have to accept Jesus’ teachings or change their behavior. They will do anything they can to goad us into breaking down and behaving just like them.

On our own, we do not have the strength to hold up under pressure like that. But, as Philippians 4:13 promises, we can do ALL things through Christ, including control our reactions.

As arrogant as it sounds, in volatile situations like this young woman’s, I try to take a step back and remind myself, I am the better person; I do not have to respond in the same hurtful way. Why? Not because I am by any means superior, but because, as a Christian, I have the Holy Spirit inside me, Christ beside me, and the Father watching over me. That is where my power to rise above the fray comes from.

“How very great is [God’s] power at work in us who believe. This power working in us is the same as the mighty strength which he used when he raised Christ from death and seated him at his right side in the heavenly world.” (Ephesians 1:19-20) Now that’s power to overcome!

Be encouraged!

©2018 Pamela D. Williams