When Life Is Not Fair!

How do you handle an injustice? Recently I was talking with a person who had given years of dedicated service to her local church and had suddenly been removed from her position. The hurt was obvious and deep as she shared with me how unfairly she felt she had been treated. The advice I gave her is the same I give to myself when I feel another has done wrong to me: What happens in me is more important than what happens to me.

There are many things which happen to us in life that we do not like. But we are really powerless, most of the time, to change our external circumstances. We cannot rearrange someone else's behavior toward us, nor can we undo moments which have brought us harm. If we keep reliving the untoward event, and devoting endless hours in "appealing the verdict," we will be left spent at the end of the day. Our best recourse is to ask the Lord to change our inner life.

In God We Don’t Trust
In God We Don’t Trust
A New Look at the American Revolution

During the past 200 years, there have been thousands of books written about the American Revolution. Yet, nearly all of them are written from the same perspective—that of the revolutionists. In God We Don’t Trust takes a different look at the American Revolution and the early colonization of America. In this work, author David Bercot looks at these events from the perspective of Jesus’ teachings—which puts these events in a very different light. We promise this book will challenge much of what you learned in school about American history, while also strengthening your Christian convictions.
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Joseph knew that truth. Rather than rail against his brothers for their unjust treatment of him, he decided to concentrate his energies on being the best person for God he could be in the circumstances he was in. Over the process of a lifetime, he was able to live out the indelible truth regarding unjust treatment from another: "Ye meant it for evil, but God meant it for good." (Gen 45) Our reaction to the unkindness of others reveals the depth of our own walk with God.

Suppose you held a glass of liquid as you walked toward me, and I carelessly or deliberately reached out and bumped you. Whatever you carried inside that glass would spill out. That is the way our lives are. When we are bumped, whatever is inside comes out. That is why being filled with the Spirit on a continual basis is so important. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Bump that kind of person, and you will get the personality of Jesus.

In my present capacity I am called upon to assist congregations in resolving disputes. We call such conflicts "church trouble." I have found it impossible to see such conflicts healed when people are waiting for someone else to change. Most of the important changes that need to be made in our world lie within ourselves. Jesus said that out of the heart come the issues of life. When I find a "saint" who is unkind, critical, or trying to "straighten out the church or pastor," I know I am ministering to someone who has been bumped: and what they are spilling out is the content of a life lacking the Spirit's presence.

The Holy Spirit is not filled with hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, faction, or envy. The Lord has given us very clear direction on how we are to respond to the person who has injured us. Our human reaction is to retaliate, blame, and feel self-pity. All these emotions while understandable, lead us down dead-end streets. In yielding to them we permit ourselves to become victims rather than victors.

A fascinating passage from Jude says, "But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"" (Jude 9, NIV) We may not know much about the mystery of the dispute over the body, but we can see the plain spiritual application: Don't become like the devil when you are fighting the devil. Michael did not slander the prince of all slanderers.

Jesus plainly told us how to respond to bad treatment from another person: We are to love that one.


Love does not necessarily mean our feelings will be positive; in fact, Christian love means feelings follow actions. Jesus does not say: "Have good feelings toward the other person." Instead He exhorts us to action - "Do good!" Here are questions from the Lord's teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matt. 5:38-48, 6:12) We must ask ourselves when we are treated unfairly: Am I returning good for evil? Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek and walk the second mile.

Am I praying for my adversary? Jesus tells us we are to treat our opponent in the same way God himself responds to the just and unjust - He blesses both with rain and sun. Am I blessing rather than cursing the one who hurt me? The underlying word for "Bless" literally means "to speak well of." When someone else has injured our hearts, we can think of a lot of mean and unkind things to say. But that is a form of cursing - a diminishment of the other person's character. Watch your tongue and say good things.


Am I forgiving the other person of the debt or transgression against me?

A wise person defined forgiveness as the odor flowers give when they are trampled on. People are going to take advantage of us - they did to Jesus. But His opening word from the cross was not one of vengeance, nor did He seek to get even. He prayed, "Father, forgive them" (Luke 23:34) How are you responding to unfair treatment? Mrs. Charles Cowman said it well: "The opposing force becomes a lifting force if faced at the right angle." And, "The same wind that uproots a tree lifts a bird."

Our ability to rise above the hurt will depend on whether or not we are willing to let the Lord alter us rather than expecting the other person to change. And His way of altering us is to bring us to an altar of commitment where we say: "Lord, Your will be done in my life. Give me the strength to do what You ask of Me."