I have a couple of acquaintances who go out of their way to find fault with me. I have made mistakes which have affected them, but I will never be cut the slack which others enjoy at their hand.
I took home the facts of the recent onslaught to discuss with my wife. They had been blown way out of proportion. Hilary tried to be of comfort. She also tried to remind me of my Christian duty. You know, "the turn the other cheek" issue, the "God is allowing chastening" issue.
But I didn't take the advice. Rather I went to my little pity-party corner and began to devise snappy answers to toss back at my detractors. Even now, I am up at 2:30 AM fussing about it all.
But then I remembered a certain man back at Chatham who lived on my street. He made my skin crawl for a time because he appeared to me to be one of those squeaky clean evangelicals. All the signs in his family and business were good. He would try to drum up some friendly neighbourhood talk with me, but I proved difficult. Inwardly I was embarrassed about my contempt.
In later years Dale became a dear brother in the faith and an encouragement to me. He had drawn upon powers of patience and intercession which this morning I find lacking in myself. I must let this thing go. I must recognize and renounce the pride, temper and self-pity. I must stop wasting God-given time trying to imagine an effective way to "get back at them". I must deal with where I went wrong.
Have you ever felt like this? And have you come to the place of recognizing that your biggest problem is simply your own attitude and lust for self-vindication.
The underlying spiritual fact may be conviction of sin in these individuals. I haven't been going around playing the "preacher man" with them, but I guess that even the little things that I say or do, or refrain from doing, are having an effect. I am just "being" who I am in Christ.
Remember that there is a stench to the believer. Yes, Paul confirmed it in 2 Corinthians 2:
14Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
15For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
16To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
Well, thanks for listening to this little rant. Perhaps it will prove helpful to others of similar experience. My duty is clear from Romans 12: 18-21.
Look it up.