Probably everyone who has ever lived has been treated unfairly. Perhaps you have been falsely accused of something. Maybe someone cheated you. You might have been the subject of gossip; the truth of a matter twisted into lies.
Being treated unfairly never feels good. When it happens, our natural instincts kick in. We want retaliation. We want to see the other person feel pain and humiliation. What we want in the natural, if left unchecked, will fester into bitterness. Bitterness watered by resentment always grows into hatred — always.
What can we do to keep our minds and hearts at peace? After all, when we have been treated unfairly, we don’t deserve melancholy; we deserve peace that permeates our entire being. The answer involves a choice on our part. Many of you reading will know the verse found in Isaiah 26:3-4, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You. Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the Eternal Rock.” Our choice, to focus on God in the midst of what or who wronged us, is absolutely key in maintaining peace.
I am reminded of a friend in Central Asia whose family suffered a terrible persecution when a relative was murdered for becoming a Christian. I visited the family, wondering what I could say to offer comfort, but my words were never needed. As I entered the home and listened to the horrible tale, the murdered man’s sister lifted her face, wet with tears, and said, “Can we sing?” She closed her eyes and began to sing; not a known song, just words from her heart to God. The entire family joined in, singing words from their own hearts. I joined in also. The presence of God was the sweetest I can ever remember in my life. I felt if I opened my eyes I would see Jesus, such was the strong sense of His presence.
This memory and experience remains one of the most beautiful of my life. I like to recall it when something happens to me that is unfair. I have a choice. I can grow bitterness with my focus on the unfairness of the wrong committed or I can grow peace with my focus on the One Who is my eternal Rock. After all, when we are treated unfairly, we don’t deserve to feel even worse, especially by our own lack of right focus. We deserve the peace of our loving, heavenly Father, who delights to fill us with His joy to replace all earthly pain.
Whatever pain is in your life today, I hope you focus on Jesus. I hope you sing.