She dashes out of his room yelling “Nooooo!!” and clutches the notebook and crayon … again. Caught in a corner, she wails as he slaps her arm. She screams and hits back, tightening her grip on the notebook. Unperturbed, he slaps her again. Hit, slap, hit, slap … finally, with tears flowing, they both scream at me for a solution.
Where was I you ask? Watching the whole thing and wondering who was wrong, why, and how to exact justice.
“For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment.
Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong.
But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.”
If others talk about me behind my back or take something from me (that is theirs for example), or … slap me for taking their notebook, I get ‘no credit’ – I’m not a martyr, suffering innocently at the hands of evil people. I deserve it. Call it ‘reality discipline’ if you like. There are consequences for my actions. Grace- yes, but also consequences.
Romans 8:17-18 became real and applicable to me this week.
“Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honourable.
Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
This week, I responded to someone ‘taking my notebook’ by ‘slapping’ them. Later I found out they didn’t even take my notebook – I just thought they did. …double ouch.
Had I handled the ‘taking my notebook’ in a peaceful, honourable way, I wouldn’t have had to eat that piece of humble pie…
I’m noticing that to ‘do what you know is right’ and ‘do all that you can to live at peace with everyone” takes a whole lot of humility – more than I have.
God probably designed it that way on purpose...