Blessing Those Who Curse You
The Lord is my vindicator…this was one of the hardest truths for me to accept as the Lord was drawing me back to Him 19+ years ago.
I was assigned to a flying unit in the southwest US as the chief flight engineer. There was an enlisted leader above me who kept trying to move me from my position. I never really understood why, just that he thought it would be better if someone else led the engineer section. Through a series of events this issue finally came to a head. I went down to see the ‘old man’ to find out what the deal was and asked him if he was unhappy with my service. He was surprised I asked and stated he was very happy with my leadership and had no intention of moving me from my current position. He made one phone call to the group commander to confirm he also had no intention of moving me, which he did not.
In the heat of the battle, I had many friends tell me I should try to harm this individual. I could have called in a few ‘favors’ from those above me that could have caused him pain. My wife told me I should let the Lord handle it.
My discussions with the commander that day would set in motion the Lord’s hand of vindication. Eventually this persons arrogance would get the best of him causing him to receive a downgraded performance report. That poor report would push him to the back of the pack for promotion. He would retire a few years later at his current rank.
A few years after the incident, I ran across that person at a conference in Florida. In front of other leaders, he apologized for his actions. Without reservation, I accepted his apology and in that moment realized the Lord had fully vindicated my abilities and position in the leadership community.
It’s hard to walk away from a fight, especially when it’s personal. However, if you allow the Lord to defend you He will handle the situation with precision and purpose. His outcome will always be much better than anything you could have done.
Blessing Those Who Curse You
by Os Hillman
…”Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.” – 2 Samuel 16:11-12
As David’s enemies were increasing and he was fleeing the city from his son Absolom who was seeking to take his throne, a man named Shimei began heaving rocks and cursing him as he passed by. Cursing the king was against the law, so David had every right to cut off the man’s head — as his generals were encouraging him to do. Here we see the difference between Saul and David in their response to those who would seek to do them harm. This is the defining difference between a leader who seeks to lead through a vertical dimension with God versus a horizontal fix-it mode. God knew David as a man after His own heart. Yet, David was a murderer, adulterer, and had failed in many areas of his life. But one thing separated this leader from all the rest: He had a heart that sought to please God and be in His will. When David blew it, he repented.
What is the purpose God desires to accomplish with the estranged relationship you may have with someone? Has He brought this affront to find out what is in your heart today? Will you seek revenge and solve the problem yourself? Or will you find the grace to allow God to carry out vengeance in His time if it is needed? When I learned this lesson to stay vertical with God and avoid the trap of fixing things in my own energies, it was a day of freedom. No longer was it my problem. We must examine our own heart in these matters. But if we are clean, then this affront is for character building. It is the only way God builds the deepest level of character in His saints.
A.W. Tozer tells us, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply.” God actually rises up storms of conflict in relationships at times in order to accomplish that deeper work in our character. We cannot love our enemies in our own strength. This is graduate-level grace. Are you willing to enter this school? Are you willing to take the test? If you pass, you can expect to be elevated to a new level in the Kingdom. For He brings us through these tests as preparation for greater use in the Kingdom. You must pass the test first.