I often ponder on how meek Jesus was and that some people tend to think He allowed everyone to run over top of him like a doormat.
I don’t say this with arrogance. I am a minister’s daughter and I was always a little different from most of my high school peers. I wouldn’t say I hated school but, there was definitely a select number of people I was friends with. I wasn’t perfect by any means (still far from it) but, ever since the age of eight I have desired to be like Jesus. That desire often led me to be so shy that I allowed the most stupid of things to hurt my feelings deeply. I remember crying over things as a teenager that I wouldn’t blink an eye at today. There’s no telling how many times I simply allowed others to trample right over top of me.
What am I trying to say? You see, we are often criticized in a bad way if we claim “Christianity” and don’t allow things to hurt us. Standing up for ourselves or guarding our heart is considered criminal in the eyes of the world. We are labeled and expected to allow this doormat mentality, but that’s not at all how Jesus was nor how He taught us to be.
Jesus commands that we be like this. “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16. In our world we live among the “wolves” sometimes. But, when Jesus says, “wise as serpents”, It doesn’t mean that we treat others badly when they treat us unfairly. It just means that we watch, pray and use godly wisdom in everything we do. After all we are taught to “turn the other cheek”.
David Elgin, a spiritual father of mine once said, “Sometimes you have to let God defend you.” When that statement was applied to the situation I was in at the time, it utterly confused me. You mean I have to shut my mouth? I can’t vent to others about the wrong that was done to me? I mean after all I’m entitled to do so, right? Talk about a hard pill to swallow. My flesh fought that so hard! I struggled with that statement for a while. But, after much study and prayer I realized Bro. Elgin’s statement was much more in depth than I realized. That advice brought a lot of peace and clarity to my life over some situations that had previously left me feeling hurt and betrayed. I began to realize although it can be sharp, the truth will always set you free. A true friend will always tell you the truth if it means sharpening you in a positive way.
That advice also symbolically released me of some spiritual shackles I didn’t realize the enemy had bound me with. Those spiritual shackles are called “unforgiveness”.
How many times have we allowed that to take root in our lives? The term “church hurt” has been coined by so many who say they can no longer attend church because of it. These two terms are related in the sense because unforgiveness towards someone in church who has hurt you leads to what is interpreted as “church hurt”. Many articles and blogs put “church hurt”at the top of the list for the number one reason people leave church. That scares me but, it doesn’t surprise me because it’s been happening throughout history, even back to the time Jesus walked the earth. But, what makes matters worse is that we can’t seem to get over it. We hold grudges and never let go which leads to a hardheartedness and deeply rooted trust issues.
This in return then paves the road to us not trusting God as we should, therefore “giving the enemy an inch….” When hearts become hard we tend to compare Jesus to those whom have hurt us, when in fact His love and mercy far exceeds that of any human. The Bible says, He is not a man that He should lie. So, that human mentality of hurt can definitely damage our relationship with Jesus leading us to live below our inheritance in HIM. That in a nutshell is exactly what the enemy desires because it will always end badly.
But, the truth remains the same, although this could have taken place in your life, there is still redemption. Your heart can be softened again by the pure and full love of Jesus. There’s no shame if you have allowed this purposely or not purposely to come into your life. Ask Him to help you to forgive, ask Him to help you see people through His eyes of love and pray for those around you. Jesus will never fail to help you improve your walk with Him and He will never fail to help you forgive those who have hurt you. Letting go of justifiable hurt isn’t easy, but it is more than worth it to live free from the baggage that the powers of hell would love for you to have! Live like Jesus says, and be free!