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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Your response

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We just had our “Friendship” camp. I was thinking through randomly why making friends is now a challenge. Two things came up strongest. 1) Lack of giving of oneself 2) lack of grace in allowing offences to pass

Rarely would I use the word ‘mistreated’. Instead, I am more familiar however with experiences like hurt, unfair, injustice etc.

I was a witness to an argument that happened on a bus between a middle-aged man and a little boy’s parents. The middle-aged men retaliated to a playful kick by a toddler with an angry stomp on the floor board, missing the boy and the mother’s leg by inches. Words were exchanged, tempers flared and an all out egos war took place. The middle-aged men argued that the parents failing to correct the son was at fault and insulted their lack of parental guidance. The parents kept going on how wrong a grown-up was to retaliate to a mere toddler's kick.

While I watch, I slowly felt a sense of injustice arising. I felt angry to some extend seeing hints of bullying occurring from one side so much I wanted to step forth to protect. You see, God puts in our hearts a sense of right & wrong and as Christians, while it was made for the good of the Kingdom, we sometimes abuse it for our own. Things gets out of control when we assume the God role and fail to play our roles right.

I remembered one of my leaders who because of one of her member’s encounter in an unpleasant situation began screaming at me in public and commanded to see me at another place. I was first shocked at the haughtiness of an attitude and then contempt. All respect for her drained out of me and all I had for her was that she was a fluke. Shortly, in the two weeks that followed, there was peace-making attempts and apologies were exchanged. But I still never really recovered my respect for her.

In another encounter, a leader rained harsh words on me and removed me from a teaching session suddenly. During a peace-making session, threats came. Reeling from the impact of the words made this cut so deep and so seared, I conclude that this is another hypocrite who is all show and no depth.

Another leader picked up an offence and refused for us to join her small group. Ouch! Talk about rejections.

Mistreated? Well it could be a stretch to say that. But hurt, rejected? Yes definitely.
For those married, the pain can be even greater seeing your spouse hurt or rejected yet knowing that you can’t take things into your own hands. He chose not to share the details of his encounter but to go into the bedroom and lay it all out before God. I admire his self-control. Many times I am tempted to try to dig out everything and uncover the ‘culprits’. Despite my natural instinct to stick out for him I was quietly inspired by his strong desire to obey God no matter what it takes. I decided to tag along.

David always has a ready word of wisdom on his lips. “Be above reproach. Two wrongs do not make one right. Do not take things into own hands.”

Recently while trying to sell off my existing house, an agent who promised all good things upfront failed to deliver. We lost a good 3months of wait with all other opportunity cost plus, my mom got all worked up. On the night of peace talk, David was the mediator. There were no fancy legworks, legal jargons nor preachy God stuff. In the face of false accusations, David spoke steadily, calmly with huge dose of grace and friendliness. What I saw awed me. If there was an altar call to repent of seeking revenge, that would be me. The God sized spirit in him won my family over in doing things God way.

That day I truly began my search for the right respond when we are wronged, hurt, rejected or mistreated. This book was the start of God’s answered prayer.
I was reminded of King David who said these very profound words, “I will not touch God’s anointed.”

It was not so much who hurt us, more than whom we trust. In my very contempt of the authorities God placed over me, I abused what God puts in my heart and felt as if I own the right to administrate justice. During the special ministry night of Friendship camp, I knew I might have some left over areas for God to work in but didn’t know exactly which areas. So I said a simple prayer and left it as that. In God’s time, I want to be able to go to the leaders to tell them what I saw God put in them. I want also to seek for their forgiveness.

People of God, be encouraged!
Proverbs 24:29
“Do not say, ‘I will do to him just as he has done to me; I (the Lord) will render to the man according to his work”

Proverbs 20:22
“Do not say, ‘I will recompense evil’; wait for the Lord, and he will save you”

Proverbs 25:21-22
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for so you will heap coals of fire on his head and the Lord will reward you
[the idea is that an act of kindness to your enemy may cause him or her to feel ashamed. This is just one way to overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:20)]

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shann said...

Couldnt agree more.. Amidst our self-righteousness, sometimes, we lose the sense of grace.. me oso learning on tis aspect! hehe..