Sometimes, we think we have to stay in horrible situations to prove how “Jesus”-like we are. We read the “turn the other cheek” Scriptures and believe we must accept abuse. Guilt overwhelms us if we don’t forgive our enemies at light speed or stay with them. Worse yet, other people label us as “bad disciples” if we don’t continue to let them punch us in the face and kick us in the gut.
The above concept includes staying in rotten work environments—but is it biblical? Does the Bible tell us to welcome all mistreatment, or is there a bit more to it than that?
Is it really unbiblical to be angry when someone harms us, or is it wrong only if we SIN as a result?
Does Scripture bind us to forgive people before we’re ready and befriend our enemies? Does it call us to “interact” with such people?
How about maintaining personal and romantic relationships with our enemies? Is it scriptural to do so, or is it 100% unbiblical?
The devotional works I write discuss and cover those topics and related struggles.
I believe Scripture is something we all have to look at in its entirety instead of viewing a verse or even a handful. Single verses are great for quick references, unexpected spiritual battles, and even devotionals. But we get a clear picture of “God’s” multi-dimensional nature by studying all the elements.
- The history
- All the original covenants
- The renewed covenant
Being a “good” child of “God” isn’t about being nice to people who harm us and pretending their actions are okay. It’s not about committing ourselves to people who have clearly shown us they hate our daddy either. It’s about putting “God” and His will at the forefront of our lives. It sometimes means interacting when we don’t want to, but not always.
Sometimes, Scripture calls us to bring other people’s evil deeds (and ours) to the light. Other times, it directs us to separate ourselves from certain people. And in some cases, we must ask Our Father to help us forgive people we struggle to forgive—and then we have to minister to those same people. We don’t do it because we think it’s fair (think Jonah) or because we think we’re “all that.” We do it because it’s our purpose and we can’t run from it.