When we commit to follow Christ and serve where He has called us, we often think that as we are serving in ministry all will be peaceful. We believe that those we serve and those we serve alongside will understand our motives and our heart. We envision cooperation and getting along with each other…moving as a unified body toward a big goal.
What happens when there is disagreement, misunderstanding, even slander? The human response is anger, retribution, clearing our name, taking up for ourselves. But is that always the correct response?
I have known of women’s leaders who chose another way: love, forgiveness, not wishing ill will on the accuser, choosing to allow God to do His work through the situation without personally seeking to justify their actions.
What is the advantage of allowing God to bring resolution instead of personally seeking to share our side of the issue and clearing our name? We give God the opportunity to do what only He can do (which of course is much more than what we could do!) and for Him to get the glory for it. We allow Him to do His work His way instead of ours.
But what if He does not bring resolution quickly enough? What if the outcome is not what we thought it would be? What if we never see what we consider a positive result? Do you stop believing He is
sovereign? Do you stop trusting His goodness…His ability to work it out for our good (Romans 8:28)? No, you walk in faith trusting Him to give you the words and actions that will honor Him best. You trust His truth regardless of your feelings. And even if you do not see the answer you desire this side of heaven, you still trust His heart.
I’ve witnessed this recently in the life of a long time friend and ministry partner. Though there has been pain and deep hurt, I saw faith that sustained and trusted God’s plan regardless of what appeared to be false accusations and direct attack…regardless of who believed what about the situation.
I also got to see where God was working in spite of and amid the confusion and enemy’s handiwork. He is still working in amazing ways in the middle of the mess. And because He’s doing it without
interference from my friend, He is the one who gets complete credit for His miracles.
The lesson I learned from the example of my friend was huge. I pray I will remember this lesson the
next time I am unjustifiably attacked as I am seeking to serve and obey the Lord. I pray I will be
spiritually mature enough to trust Christ instead of retaliating and seeking justification for my actions.
Romans 12:17 says, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord.” God doesn’t need us to set things right. He is totally capable of doing that Himself! Sometimes I just need to get out of His way so He can do His work!