It’s hard when people close to you hurt you. It can totally crush your heart and you feel like you just want to crawl into a hole. Sometimes we may ask why God is punishing us. I can assure you that God isn’t always looking to punish us. People can be stubborn and prideful. If there is one thing you can understand is that God won’t force people to do the right thing. People will go to great lengths to keep from being wrong. Pride is a strong barrier to any relationship but when someone hides behind that pride, it’s a tough opponent.
So we are met with two choices. We can either stay in a constant state of turmoil lamenting over how unfair we are being treated or we can control how it affects us.
Here are five ways that we can control ourselves in the face of adversity:
#1 – Pray. Prayer is going to be your strength through it all. Prayer is not and should never be the last resort. Not only is prayer instrumental to your defense, but it is also important to pray the right thing. In praying, you must focus your prayer on what you CAN control – you. Let God take care of the other people. Pray that God will give you peace and the right heart. Not one of vengeance.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
#2 – Be yourself. In spite of what other people will do, don’t change to conform to what they want you to be. You will never be happy doing that. God loves you. That’s the only important thing. Their opinion of you doesn’t matter. Don’t live for their approval because you will never get it.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
#3 – Stick to the truth. Even if the truth is twisted and distorted don’t ever give up on the truth. Do not lower your standards. The moment you give up on the truth, then others will have their confirmation against you. Yes, it seems people always get away with believing and spreading lies but that doesn’t mean you should lower your standards.
“And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
#4 – Do good to those who do wrong to you. This probably the toughest one of all. At times you want to reach out and grab the other person by the neck and shake them with all of your strength. Some would say that you can “heap coals of fire” on someone’s else by doing good to your enemies but that doesn’t mean they will feel it or change their ways. You have to do good because that’s who you are and not that you are only doing it for something in return.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
#5 – Continue to do good even if good is never done to you. The “Golden Rule” is all sweet and should be something we all live by but this isn’t real life. Do good even if it is lied about. (Luke 6:27-36)
Are any of these easy to do? No. Not at all. People will hurt you and disappoint you. It hurts. It hurts bad. You have to get to a place where you can absorb these fiery darts without letting them completely rattle you. We all want the other person to change and realize what they have done but there is no guarantee that it will happen. Unfortunately we don’t live in a Lifetime movie. Most hurts we encounter from others last longer than two hours and may never be resolved. The ONLY thing we can control is us and how we react to it.
“Dear Heavenly Father, you see the hurt in my heart by what (name) has done and the lies they have chosen to believe about me. I am asking that you will be my defense and speak to their hearts. While I can’t make them see the truth or change their ways, I am asking that you can help me be strong and shield me from the fiery darts that come at my heart and the negative thoughts that come to my mind. Give me peace and wisdom to rise above this and continue to do good in spite of what I see or feel. I trust in your faithfulness. I know that love me. Create in me a clean heart and one that always stands for the truth and does what is good.”