“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven” –Matthew 5:10
The word persecution is one of those heavy words that seems to intense for day-to-day use. When we hear of Christians getting persecuted, we often think of people getting thrown in jail or killed, martyred, for their faith. We don’t think about some of the small things we deal with as persecutions. However, there is such a need in the human heart to die for a cause, that sometimes, we seek out our persecutions and try to create our own martyrdom. Have you ever done this? I know I have. I remember at a previous church I served, I kept having disagreements with one of the other staff members and I felt like things were never going my way. I would complain about this person to any one who would listen. It took me so long to realize that the source of feelings had nothing to do with being persecuted but with harbouring unforgiveness. I wasn’t being martyred, I was just dying a slow death in sin.
John and Staci Eldrige, authors of Wild at Heart and Captivating, say that every person is wounded in some way deep in their hearts. Often that wound can be traced back to a parental or adult figure, or a significant event. A lot of the anger we feel towards people is triggered because something that they did targeted that exact place in which we have been wounded. That is what happened with me in the story I just shared with you.
God is the only one who can deal with our wounds… When we are hit where we are wounded, though, we often try to deal with it ourselves. We search for the injustices. We don’t lay our wounds and our feelings at the cross. We search for more injustice to further our case in the eyes of others. We try to appear taken advantage of, martyred, so that no one will realize that we’ve been hurt and wounded–so that no one will recognize that we are not letting go. The worst is when we try to justify this with the Word of God, “…blessed be….”
You are on a mission for Jesus Christ. You must “let go and let God…” take care of these hurts and this anger and the shame. Again, Oswald Chambers says it best:
“The Sermon on the Mount indicates that when we are on a mission for Jesus Christ, there is no time to stand up for ourselves…Looking for justice is actually a sign that we have been diverted from our devotion to him.” –Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
“…the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:18
Knowing that justice belongs to the Lord, set your eyes back on Jesus and your focus on recklessly following where he calls you. God will take care of the rest.
UPDATE: Read part 2 of this post, Tough Terrain, The Search for Injustice, pt 2.