Not too long ago, I wasn’t very nice to this young woman. We’ll call her Daisy. I was envious of her. She had things I thought I should have. She was receiving things I thought I should receive. I was frustrated with the Lord for confusing her and me because surely, He could see how good I was, how obedient I was, how faithful I was. Why wasn’t my goodness, obedience, and faithfulness being rewarded like Daisy’s? My envy produced bitterness. That bitterness caused me to say and do things that weren’t kind. For a little while, I made excuses for my behavior. I thought things like, I did this because she did that. Or I tried to do the right thing.
Then, I met a young woman who treated me just as harshly as I had treated Daisy. She talked about me something fierce as I talked about Daisy. Her obsession with my whereabouts was akin to my obsession with Daisy’s. While I was getting a taste of my own medicine, I could not make sense of it. Quite frankly, I thought this girl was a little crazy because we did not know one another well enough for her to be acting like that with me. While I was in the car one day a pastor came on the radio and preached a sermon on slander. I mhm’d and amen’d in all the right places, all the while thinking of this young woman who slandered me and treated me poorly. Then one Sunday, I went to church and a different pastor spoke on slander, not two days after the sermon I listened to in the car. Now, if you hear two different pastors speaking about the same subject, God is really trying to tell you something. At the beginning of the sermon, I, of course, thought again about this young woman and what she had done to me. Then, I said, “Christine, that girl is not here. You are. Why does God want you to hear this?” I prayed about it and Daisy came to mind. Like a car screeching to a halt. A light bulb turning on. My eyes and heart were opened, and I could finally see how wrong I was to have treated Daisy like that.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:7-10
This is a prescriptive bible verse, and we see its truth displayed all throughout the scriptures. It was David who lusted after Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife. He lay with her, got her pregnant, and then killed her husband to cover up his crime. The son he and Bathsheba conceived died. It was Haman who planned to have Mordecai hanged and built gallows seventy-five feet high to hang him on. But it was not Mordecai who hung on them. It was Haman. Paul, who was once Saul, a great persecutor of Jesus’ disciples, approved of Stephen’s stoning. Later, when Paul was in Antioch and Iconium he was stoned and dragged out of the city because they thought he was dead.
The beginning of this verse says that God is not mocked. Now, why would it say that? Because we know that men do mock God. Men do laugh at God, they do pretend with Him. What this is saying is that it is impossible to impose upon God who discerns the thoughts, the mockings, and intents of the heart. People can fool other people, but they cannot fool God. He knows the hearts of all men. Hebrews 4:13 tells us, “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
There are people who have been hurt deeply by other Christians. There are people who have left churches because of how they were treated by people in the church. The devil doesn’t have any new tricks because he doesn’t need them. Jealousy and envy are tales as old as time itself. Cain killed Abel. Why? Because he was jealous. So long as Christians are persecuting, slandering, and hating each other, the devil needn’t lift a finger. Jesus told the disciples in John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” I’m sorry to say that many Christians are not known for their love. They are known as judgmental persecutors who think they are better than other people. Who walk around telling other people what they should and should not do. And walk around the office declaring what they will and will not do, all the while qualifying their behavior with Christ. They attack people who are not living up to their standard of righteousness.
I think back on how I treated that girl and am deeply saddened. I am ashamed. How could I do that? Why would I do that? I wish that it had not taken me so long to see the error of my ways. I wish that I had treated that young lady with the same grace and mercy that the Lord bestows upon me. After my eyes were opened, I told the Lord, “I’m sorry. I don’t know if I’ll see tomorrow, but may I never treat another human being like that again.” I am not God. I was created to serve Him, not be Him. I am thankful, grateful, that the Lord loved me enough to deal with me. “…My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or faint when you are reproved by Him. For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son who He receives.” Hebrews 12:5-6
Sometimes what you need to do is mind your own business. You do not know what is going on in the background of someone’s life, but God does. You are not going to like everyone and everyone is not going to like you. But not liking someone or something they are doing or being envious or jealous is no excuse for slandering a person.
Beloved, remember the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” The devil is a liar. All he does is lie. Rebuke him immediately. Take that thought. Hold it captive for as long as it takes. Speak the truth in and over your life. Don’t let the devil steal from you as he stole from me. Who knows how different my life and perhaps Daisy’s would be if we had loved one another?