Wounded by religious practices, let down and hurt by those we care about, used, abused and brutalised… we all experience injustice of one kind or another throughout our lives. Some we can forgive and move on to live a fulfilling life, others not so easy to let go of and can adversely affect lives!
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
People walk away from the Lord for so many reasons that it would be impossible to list them all. Some are bruised by religious practices, others have been treated unfairly by a member or members of the church, some are tempted back into the world by the things they miss whilst others weaken in their Faith and fall away. Whatever the reason is we are all still responsible for our walk with the Lord and ultimately our salvation. Blaming someone else will not be an excuse on the day of judgement. We must forgive or we will not be forgiven! Forgiveness releases us from the situation as much as the person we are forgiving. If we do not forgive and let it go, we bind ourselves into that situation and cannot move on.
Everyone struggles with injustices, but no one can claim a greater injustice against them than Jesus Christ and He said on the cross before He died at the hands of His own, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Whatever the injustice, go to the Lord with it; all of it. Offload on Him and let Him help you and build you back up so you can be prepared for the next one, because the Christian will experience many injustices on their journey. This journey is about winning the battles and not the war, the war is for God and He has already won it, we just need to survive.
Many Christians fall away from the faith and many people refuse to come to it because of a fundamental lack of understanding. For the Christian, injustice is often a deal breaker due to a significant lack of understanding that the Christian journey sets you apart from the world and anyone set apart from the world is no longer part of it. Therefore, if you no longer socialise by binge drinking, getting drunk every weekend, having casual sex, misusing substances; or if you were never a part of that world, then don’t expect to be accepted by the players in that game. Not only will they not want you to eat at the same table as them but they will victimise you, sometimes openly but more often subtly. The workplace is fertile ground for this. Your strategy is to expect it, armour up with the right spiritual tools, talk to the Lord about it, a lot, and let Him deal with it for you.
This does not mean you will not have to go through the struggles inherent in these situations because you must. When a baby is learning to walk they will fall over many times. A parent will try to catch them when it first starts happening, but they cannot stop this or prevent it otherwise the baby will never learn to walk. Many of us come to the Lord believing that everyone who is called has love in their hearts for God and for each other and that now they are in church all will be well and everyone will welcome them with open arms. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. The first few years in the life of a Christian is hugely important in much the same way as the first few years in the life of a baby. A good start in a new life lays solid foundations and a bad start will hinder progress and cause unnecessary pain because the foundations are not solid.
Becoming a Christian is the first step on the journey. Love started us on this journey and love will bring us through. Often when relationships fail in life, you will hear people say ‘Love was not enough,’ and this belief is expressed in films and books again and again. Whilst this statement is true to some extent it is not the whole story. The truth is, “Our love is not enough but God’s love is more than enough and perfectly able to cope with anything we experience in life.” We need to practice God’s unfailing, unconditional, unfathomable transcendent love. Through it all things can be accomplished. You will find that place in you heart to forgive the injustice and move on.
It may seem a little strange when I say practice loving people, especially when they do evil things to you but that is the single most important factor that will keep you flowing in your calling to reach that beautiful destination. Ask for help all the way, ‘Lord help me, I can’t do this on my own.’ The human being has the capacity to love for a life time, the real unconditional love which is God given. When this gift starts flowing in your life you will be victorious in Christ.