When Kindness is Treated with Evil

This weekend I will be attending the Allies Retreat with about 50 plus other men from Timberline Church. I will be sharing some of my “Life Lessons, from a Life Threatening Illness” during the seminars on Saturday. Today was focused on my preparation for this weekend. It is always interesting for me to review some old CaringBridge posts and to see what was happening to me and to get the perspective of events through the eyes of my wife and children.

I did get to the fitness center today for a short workout. This was my first workout in a few weeks. Today ended with the delivery of my new recumbent bike.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… I praise you, God; don’t remain silent! Wicked people and liars have attacked me. They tell lies about me, and they say evil things about me, attacking me for no reason. They oppose me, even though I love them and have prayed for them. They pay me back evil for good and hatred for love. Psalm 109:1-5

As I read these verses this morning, they caught my attention. Perhaps it is my political background, perhaps my history as a pastor. The world we live in “is not fair.” Kindness is not always returned with kindness, people don’t live by the “golden rule.” It was evident in the Old Testament, New Testament and today.

We see the actions of the “wicked” in their verbal attacks. They speak lies, say evil things and offer a barrage of unjustified attacks. But what we see as especially painful and perplexing is the unfair treatment from those the Psalmist has “prayed for” and demonstrated love and kindness to. What is interesting in many ways, these verses can reflect the response of many to God.

We see throughout scripture that we are called to take the “high road.” The Psalmist shows us the path by turning the to the Lord; praising the Lord and beseeching the Lord to take action and come to his defense. The Lord challenges us to love, and keep loving, to pray and keep praying, to keep doing good.

Jesus said, “I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6, 27,28)

When Jesus was teaching His disciples about kingdom priorities, He contrasted the “ways of the world with the ways of the kingdom.”

“You know that the rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. This, however, is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you wants to be great, you must be the servant of the rest…” (Matt.20:25,26)

Jesus calls us to the “not so with you” approach to life. That doesn’t mean we are to be naive or gullible or set ourselves up for mistreatment. But it does mean we are to seek to follow the example of Jesus,  “…. he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)

We don’t live in a “fair world” – but we serve a God of justice, who is able to come to our defense and to give us the strength and wisdom we need to be people of integrity. It doesn’t come as we focus on those who are against us, or on ourselves. It comes as we praise the Lord and keep our eyes on Him.