God is FOR YOU.
Take a moment to contemplate the injustices that happen on a global scale on a daily basis; child labor, sex trafficking, poverty, starvation, racism, abuse, wars and more. When I feel the personal sting of injustice and I feel like my heart will implode I remind myself of the enormity of injustice dished out to so many around the world.
Seeing those injustices first hand gives one a perspective unlike anything else. There are times when even my personal feelings of grief seems so insignificant on the larger scale of humanity, yet I still ache over these little injustices. So many times I feel so shallow. It reminds me of how parents used to say, “eat your food there’s starving kids in Africa!” Yes, there are starving children all across the world, but that still doesn’t make your child hungry right now.
I know that God is still for me, and He is still for YOU. God cares about the little things. Psalm 139:17-18 says, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee”
Have you ever been in that moment, that place in your life, where everything is filled with sadness? It looms over you like a dark cloud that you can’t seem to escape. It’s that pull on your heart, the weight, the heaviness, the despair that makes you want to sit alone, lie in bed, cry, scream, pull your hair and yell with every ounce of energy that you have. That’s grief. Every injustice in this world causes grief, it crosses the line between what is known as right and what is wrong. (1) ~ Camille Sarabia
Every injustice causes grief. Big, small, ALL.
The author of Psalm 91 for Mother’s describes the “adder” as Cobra problems. “These are problems that sneak up on us like a snake in the grass. Undercover attacks such as a deceptive scheme keeping us blinded until it devours us.” She used describes how Satan sneaks up and tries to hurt you when you least expect it.
“Something as deadly as a physical attack such as a car wreck or as simple as someone who tells lies about you behind your back. It is Satan who is using that person’s mouth to try to hurt you and cause you to give up.”
Indeed, if you’ve ever trusted someone and found out that person set out to hurt you or told lies about you, Psalm 91 can be a place to start healing the pain and suffering!
WHEN PEOPLE HURT YOU
When you feel the sting of injustice that may come your way in life it is hard to handle and if you are not careful the pain, anger and bitterness can feel overwhelming at times or even lead to anxiety and depression.
It has been said there’s two sides to every story. Usually that is because each party tends to view a situation from their own unique perspective, factoring in all the emotional baggage they carry, etc. However, there are occasions when one of the two sides is a complete fabrication.
Maybe like me, you have had people who you thought loved you believe lies about you? Maybe a spouse or your best friend doubted your word… or maybe it was a parent.
Maybe you too, have watched people who could have owned up to their own bad decision stay deluded and avoid responsibility or even worse shift blame. Worst of all, maybe the person who wronged you may have even tried to control you and manage you or keep you from interacting with the people they have lied to so that the truth never came out.
When I was younger and much more naive, on several occasions people I cared about expected me to lie for them (keep their secret) to cover up their own dishonorable choices, mistakes and lies. At the time, because I didn’t see the complete picture and because I wanted to believe the best about the person, I kept my mouth shut when I shouldn’t have.
Sadly, I protected “the other person” when unbeknownst to me, I had been thrown under the bus by that very person.
There is never a good excuse for asking someone to cover a lie. I understand that sometimes people feel like they are in over their head or in the moment they choose to cover their butt rather than be a grownup and admit the truth. Other times, people simply have never owned up to their bad behavior and never plan to.
When this type of thing happens we can hang on to the hurt and become bitter or we can do what we can to let it go. I struggled to let go of the hurt. I know that harboring resentment, bitterness and anger can cause physical as well as emotional problems, so I knew I had to work to let the injustice go. I have had plenty of practice over the years, as I am sure many of of you have.
Here are a few things that helped me:
- The first thing I *try* to do when I feel the sting of injustice is reread the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Not only is this a good reminder that He who was completely innocent suffered the greatest injustice ever known but it also reminds me that my own sins are forgiven and covered by his sacrifice.
- I remind myself what the Bible says about someone who misrepresents the truth. In Proverbs 19: 9 we read, “ A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.” Keep this in mind if you are ever tempted to misrepresent your side of the story! I think we can probably all recall a time when we have been tempted to put a spin on our story to make ourselves look better or the other person look worse.
- The goal is to never let anger, bitterness, and resentment get the better of me. It’s easy to get “hung-up” at the thought that other people may not know the truth about the situation. However, if you want to move forward, there is only one thing to do, let go of the anger. Remember Romans 12:19 says, “avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” emphasis mine*
- There is nothing wrong with affirming that the lie is not true, but don’t waste your time trying to disprove the lie. It is almost impossible to prove the other party is lying. Also, usually the more you try the more frustrated you will become.
- Never waste your time or lower yourself by trying to defame the other party’s character. Even if the other party has told complete lies, it is a waste of precious emotional energy trying to let the whole world to know what kind of person the other party is. Instead, focus your energy and attention on being a person of character.
- It’s important to acknowledge that everyone makes mistakes. Sadly, not everyone owns them. When you ARE in the wrong do your best to admit and make amends if at all possible. Then do not make the same mistake again. Always strive to learn from your own mistakes so that you will grow and mature as a result. Try to be able to say that even when you made bad choices you’ve been brave enough to take ownership of them. Never shift blame, make up lies or create reasons to justify your own bad decisions.
- If the other party admits their fault, be quick to forgive. Ephesians 4:32 says, “be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
- If the other party never admits to their fault or lies. Don’t be a doormat. Often when facing injustice the other party will stay deluded and try to avoid responsibility or save face by generating a different ending to the story than the truth. Never get down in the mud with the other party, maintain your composure, speak the truth without exaggeration and then let it go. Remember in cases of injustice, the other party is actively looking for reasons to justify the bad decision they have already made. (in my case the other party felt majorly guilty and vowed to never speak to me again, because that person knew they had done something so despicable they couldn’t even face me)
- Don’t be surprised if the other party truly believes their own lies. You see, if someone repeats a lie enough, they actually start to believe their own lies, and to feel and react as if the lies were in fact truth. At this point truth is no longer a reality.
- Try not to take it personally. Remember that the other party’s lack of integrity and conscience has nothing to do with you, your life, or your reality. It is important to let go of your personal feelings you may be experiencing from the lies the other party has fabricated.
- Stop focusing on the pain caused and simply focus on your own truth. Lies are like castles built of sand, eventually they will crumble. Darkness cannot operate within the light.
- Extend grace. What does that mean? Give someone something they don’t deserve.
- Be merciful. What does that mean? Think of it as waived punishment. Although someone may deserve consequences, extending mercy means not receiving the punishment we deserve.
- Choose to overlook when uninformed people repeat the untruths or look down their noses as you. Sadly, this happens and it is best not to get caught up in trying to defend yourself, though the temptation can be overwhelming at times. (trust me, I’ve been there, it does get easier)
When people hurt you, it’s hard not to be overcome by the sting of injustice. It’s hard not to lash out. It’s just hard to take it at all. Just when you think you are over it, a reminder brings it all back and the pain is fresh again like salt on a wound. For years I couldn’t see how anything good could come out of the situation that had hurt me, but recently something good DID come of the situation. Yes, something good finally came of the choice I made to not defend myself.
It was many many years in waiting and I won’t say I was at all patient. In the end, the outcome would not have been the same if I had reacted differently to the lies the person told about me. If I had been vindictive or retaliated certain events that ended up for our good would not have even been a possibility.
Try not to claim “Murphy’s Law” because you’ve been dealt many blows in life. If anything, focus on being balanced by seeing things realistically. Especially if you are surrounded by optimistic people, it’s easy to start believing you are a pessimist. Adopting a more positive mindset doesn’t mean you have to brainwash or lie to yourself, it just means you have to focus on different aspects of a situation. I chose to focus on the shred of good I could find as often as I could, which wasn’t always easy, but it can be done.
At the end of the day we all deserve justice. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. None of us are without sin. Thankfully Grace covers these injustices and we have hope because without hope there really is nothing that can be done about any of the injustices of this world, big or small.
This words to the song below are beautiful in that they perfectly describes how God’s grace is extended to us all even though we deserve justice.
Grace and Justice were their names,
Different as the night and day.
Never once could those two meet, it could not be.
Justice met the laws demands;
Grace reached out a loving hand,
And through the years they seemed to be two enemies.
Would Grace and Justice ever meet?
Would they ever both agree?
Would there ever be a time,
Both were satisfied?
One day ‘neath the rugged cross,
Justice seemed quite at a loss.
“The wage of sin is death,” he said,
Behold the dead.
Grace was there she bowed her head,
Saw the empty tomb and said,
“The gift of God is eternal life
Behold the Life”.
So Grace and Justice met that day,
kneeling there beneath the stains.
Oh thou blessed hallowed place;
Justice met Grace.
Yes, Grace and Justice met that day!
Satisfied they went their ways.
Oh thou blessed hallowed place;
Justice Met Grace.
By Rebekah Joy Pearl Anast