May YHWH judge between you and me. And may YHWH avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. – 1 Samuel 24:12
In over 34 years of ministry, I have had to deal with some pretty mean-spirited people. Leaders must sometimes make difficult decisions, and someone will usually be displeased with what has been decided. One dear lady told me that “every dog has his day, and your day is coming!” In fact, this old dog has had a lot of “days” and many of them were deserved!
People may become upset because they don’t have all the details and they misunderstand the situation. At other times they may be upset because they just don’t like change or a leader’s personality. As a result, I have been personally hurt by the reactions of some and (regrettably) even angered by others. At times like these it is extremely difficult to keep your emotions in check and frankly, I’m not sure I’ve always been a stellar example of control.
The point is this, taking the high road (like David with Saul above) and resisting the temptation to speak evil of another, is the only way that truly honors Christ. It will never be easy, but it is possible if we abide in the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, the greatest evidence of our faith is how we behave when the insults are hurled, for the One in whom we serve, live, and breathe, when attacked, did not retaliate in kind. This is an important mark of our life in Christ and one that we need to bear in all the days to come.
Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us. – Charles Spurgeon