Don't Get Mad. Or Even.

In Psalm 23, David wrote this:

"You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever."

Have you ever been treated unjustly? If you haven't, please write a book and tell me how you pulled that off. I would love to know. 

I've been treated unjustly more than once in my life. I'm willing to bet you have as well.

In the midst of situations like that, don't you absolutely want God to take up your case? To make everything turn out right for you, and also, if it's not too much trouble God, to teach that jerk a lesson?

Again, if your answer is no, please write a book. I will certainly buy it.

Then, in the midst of those situations, sometimes I find myself reading Psalm 23, where David is asking God to show great favor in front of his enemies. There's a prayer I can get down with.

"God, make my enemy have to watch as you richly bless me."

But I gotta be honest. I don't think that's the point here. While I want Jesus to start dunking all over the person who did me wrong, I don't think this is an invitation for me to start pinning away for the opportunity to relish in a bit of schadenfreude.

I actually have a rule in life to never justify myself. If somebody corrects me, I'm open to it. And if somebody treats me unjustly, I try to trust in God to defend me. It's a rule designed to help me be less selfish and more open to other people. Instead of always being on my guard, I can just trust that God will take care of me in the end.

But I'll freely admit, that when I have faced the BIG challenges of being treated unjustly (as big as a white male in America can face, anyways), I sometimes struggle with them. "God" I'll say, "I've sought to honor you and trust you. Please make right the wrongs being done against me!" 

Then, I'll stare at a watch with a second hand as I impatiently tap my foot. When I find myself in a situation where the injustice isn't made right as the weeks turn into months and the months turn into years, I struggle with it.

I want God to feed me a sumptuous feast that I can gobble down as I gloat over the person who has made him or herself my enemy through their words or actions.

Only, I don't think the point of the feast David longs for is to gloat. 

I take it to say that when others treat you unjustly and you find yourself at the mercy of God to make it right, we shouldn't get mad. Or get even. Instead we should trust God to make things right. And when that day comes - for it will come sooner or later...we have his promise on that - our only action should be to enjoy God's blessing. 

Let God lift up the ones who honor him, rather than trying ourselves to push down those who treat us wrongly.

If you're going through a difficult time where you have been treated fairly, I encourage you to work hard to trust God. To place your faith in him. To honor him. He will surely bless you, in his own time. This is, without a doubt, my least favorite part of the equation. Not knowing how or when God will set the wrongs to right. But that's why he calls us to have faith. That's why we must seek to place our hope in the promises he has given us. And that is why we must seek to love him and to love others along the way - include the ones who have wronged us. Because honoring God as we wait will make this time of waiting redemptive in our own lives.

Trust God, brother or sister, and allow him to prepare a feast for you. It takes a lot longer to prepare a feast than to make fast food slop. You'd never rush a gourmet chef to prepare your meal. Trust that God is cooking up something you're going to love as you continue to love and honor him in your life.