Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Peace and Offense

Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them. Psalm 119:165
It seems that in the midst of adversity, I tend to naturally resign myself to desire to not feel or be offended, as if by choosing to not be offended I'll have an incredible peace and my love for God's law will increase and abound.
But, I've found that the verse doesn't mean that at all. Choosing to not be offended will not give lasting peace nor will it give a greater love for God's word. The process is layed out clearly like this:

1. Love God's Law
which will enable you to...
2. Exemplify A Peaceful Life
which in turn will bring the ability to...
3. Live Beyond Offense

This "battle plan" must first be enacted before the need arises to practice this. You can't go into a difficulty without first being prepared and expect to come out living a peaceful and pleasant life amidst adverse and contrary situations without first instilling a love for God's law.

If you are content that this verse is already attained in your life, examine your natural and first response to opposition. Are you easily offended when someone speaks ill of you? Do you believe you have a right to be offended when you are treated wrongly? Is your first response to false accusations one of frustration and hurt? When in the face of wrong and lies spoken against you, is it peace or feelings of being offended that shroud your countenance?

It's not sin to feel hurt when someone treats you unfairly but it's not right to dwell on that hurt and to justify yourself to others even when you are truthfully in the right. When you can turn around and speak ill of the person wrongfully accusing you, you are no different than the one wrongfully treating you. You are no longer innocent. You are guilty. Like the saying goes, two wrongs never make a right.

A love of God's law brings peace that prevails in the midst of difficulty and strife.

A love for justice and retaliation brings frustration and strife and a circle of never ending confusion and wrong.

It is important to remember as a follower of Christ that the motive to see the end to the wrong being lived out in another Christian, must be prompted not because I want justice on them but rather because when sin is reigning in a believer's life, it is a sad and scary thing. That thought alone should compel me to restore them back to Christ despite my feelings of hurt and despair. To do what I can to provoke them to love and good works.
My feelings of hurt and the reason I'm offended are unimportant and fickle in the face of the realization that a soul is at stake when sin is being allowed to reign it. No matter how unjustly I'm treated, I should be driven to change things for the better not for justice's sake but rather for the sake of their soul.
My reason for restoration should be motivated by a love of God's law coupled with peace and untainted by offense. My rights to defend and be sympathized over are merely feelings of self pity and entirely based on the mentality of worldly philosophy. A society governed by Satan should not be the example I follow.
When I pursue my rights, I become wrong.
When I "rightly" proclaim another's wrong, I become wrong.
When I justly punish wrong, I'm doing wrong.
When I replace wrong with right, then and only then, I am right.
If God's law is the love of my life, I will be living a life conditioned to dwell in peace and with a desire to see others do the same.


BrittLeigh said...

Whoa! That hits quite close to home! Thanks so much for that post. Very good!

Monica said...

Glad to see you made it back safely.

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