It can happen in marriage –the worst because this is the closest relationship you have in the world. Perhaps, you find out later on, that your spouse really isn’t saved or they walked away decided holiness/sanctification was too much trouble, maybe they seem contentious/disagreeable often, your friendship has faded, they aren’t cherishing you, they stopped cheering for you, they hold grudges, perhaps they have someone else’s ear who only seeks your destruction/misery or an excuse to be upset with you. You both haven’t prayed together, stopped reading the bible together or have no interest in sharing in ministry together. Contempt has grown and you feel a million miles apart. Indeed, every marriage needs Jesus at the center to flourish, attention and care, maybe some counseling too. Although, when one spouse is not interested in following Jesus together with you, foundations crumble and this is a hard life to manage emotionally. We can all be guilty of misbehaving like this from time to time, but when it persists?
“And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matt. 10:26)
On the job — no matter what you do, it’s never enough or you get overlooked, you’re asked to compromise your morality in some fashion, neglected for promotion, or fired over your faith because you spoke out against something (which is really FOR Jesus and Truth). I digress, maybe it’s in your family where sadly, abuse can happen, communication is chaotic and whatever else… people tend to take advantage of forgivers, kindhearted folks. In church, there can be a complete disregard for helping you grow spiritually, there’s no accountability, you find more posers/fakers than genuine Believers, perhaps they ignore prayer pleas for help/intercession, family needs/burdens go unattended, false teachers can ostracize (you know them by their love or NOT!) and even in your community people gossip, bad mouth you…. surely you get the picture. You know this because you’ve experienced this personally, or you have see it happen to others at some point in your Christian journey and you can discern this clearly. These examples show us what Jesus meant about coming out of the world (John 15:19), “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Has this “rejection of the world,” brought you closer to Jesus? It’s supposed to!
Perhaps, it’s just misunderstanding…….. or something much deeper.
“Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14)
If you are a Christian, not just in “name” but totally transformed by the grace of God Himself – because of the Holy Spirit work inside you/living a selfless, servant-like, long-suffering love kind of life with your relationships, not perfectly but people know it when they are around you, they assume things, you have a testimony, you aren’t afraid to confront things, you speak up when no one else will, you make bold moves of God —therefore, there’s bound to be spiritual warfare my friend!
Oh yeah, expect it! It’s hard… one of the hardest things in life really was when I was saved by grace. Count the cost of following Jesus. Obeying Him when your flesh is telling you otherwise. Forgiving the unforgivable, taming your tongue when you’d rather avenge your hater with the words that’ll really “get em.”
It’s doing the hard things that test your last nerve!
Because as Believers, we are lovers of God The Father and children of God/Jesus and if we are truly lovers of Jesus, we are lovers of truth, truth comes from the Bible and will go to depths to protect this truth and earnestly live it out as best as we can, in Christ.
This is where life usually gets challenging and the “despisers of good,” haters show up.
Does it seem to be getting progressively worse for you in these relationships I spoke of above? Perhaps, it’s misunderstanding and should be covered in grace and love toward reconciliation. However, resentment can grow if not confronted, that causes a great divide too –especially when people only hear what THEY want to hear, avoiding the truth, never apologize or just want control.
Here’s a likely answer for this kind of behavior we see progressing steadily on a collective basis……
Evil in the Last Days, 2 Timothy 3 says:
“1But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come. 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love of good, 4traitorous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Turn away from such as these!
6They are the kind who worm their way into households and captivate vulnerable women who are weighed down with sins and led astray by various passions, 7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth. They are depraved in mind and disqualified from the faith. 9But they will not advance much further. For just like Jannes and Jambres, their folly will be plain to everyone.”
Go ahead and read it over…. but catch the last verse (9) sentence — whatever you do, don’t miss it!
Ahhhhhhh. soak it up Believers! Their OWN FOLLY will be evident to all and they will NOT advance much further. Indeed, God will only allow your enemies, your despisers to go so far… He sees, knows the depths of your heart, motives, efforts and theirs; including the trouble they have caused you and / or are causing you! It may seem trite to focus on that last sentence, but my point is that we must understand God in His loving kindness (which leads us to repentance, well it should!) He is looooooooong suffering when we have had about enough of these knuckleheads! Remember, His grace covered you too! The bible tells us these times would come. Honestly, it bothers every bone in my body to see truth being slain in the street, to see people falling away into deception, to see and experience persecution, injustice, abuse, political correctness tyranny taking many hostage, blinding minds …… Thus, relationships get tested by every trial, fire there is no doubt. It’s hard. Life is hard. People are seriously “trippin” out there! and it HURTS.
So, moral of today’s story will be this:
When life gives you pain – and because we are all flawed, we are bound to hurt one another…. write about it, express it positively somehow so you can heal, meditate on this: “what you meant for evil or to harm me, God meant for my good” (paraphrased, Gen. 50:20). So go get an outlet to breathe, pour out your heart to a trusted source and cry it out before the Lord in your prayer closet. Share it as your led, and continue to live out your testimony of faith, be bold, keep fighting the good fight of faith, seek those who celebrate you, pray for you to encourage you but keep praying for your enemies too! It hurts, pride must be humbled for there is no room for healing, grace to grow when we become that which we hate. So don’t get ensnared by their hatred or accusations.
Some of our best work–truest testimony, even breakthrough comes from our experience through deepest of suffering.