THINGS TO REMEMBER
WHEN WE ARE UNFAIRLY TREATED
taken from : http://www.biblecenter.com/sermons.php
1. How do you react when someone treats you
unfairly? Let’s say someone double crosses you or cheats you. Maybe someone lies
about you and your reputation is damaged. Perhaps your boss chews you out for
something you know you didn’t do or singles you out because he doesn’t like what
you stand for. What is your typical response? Do you…
a. Retreat into a
b. Withdraw from human
c. Look for a way to get
d. Vow that you’ll never do anything nice
for anyone again?
e. Cheat the next guy down the line
because you conclude that it’s a dog-eat-dog world?
f. Become so cynical about the world that
you no longer enjoy life?
2. These responses are all too
3. As Christians, we are called by God to
be different from the world and this is one area where that difference can
IN TODAY’S MESSAGE, I WILL SHARE SIX
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN YOU ARE UNFAIRLY TREATED.
THE FIRST THING TO
REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY IS THAT THIS LIFE ISN’T FAIR.
1. I suppose some of you might think it is
redundant for me to say that, but it never ceases to amaze me that so many
Christians get so upset when things don’t come out even.
2. Whoever said that this life was fair,
anyway? I’m not aware of any Bible verse that teaches such a thing. Of course,
God will ultimately even things out at the judgement – a point the Bible makes
often – but in the here-and-now there are no guarantees. In fact, in a fallen
world like ours, with mankind corrupted by a sinful nature and God allowing
freedom of choice, it only follows that things are not going to be fair all the
3. Yet, it bugs us, doesn’t it? It bugs me!
The bad guy sometimes wins. The criminal gets off Scot-free. The ladder climber
who steps on everyone in his path gets the penthouse. The politician lies and
gets away with it because the economy is good.
4. I’m not suggesting here that we
shouldn’t do whatever we can when we can to make things right. I’m simply saying
that sometimes making things even is beyond what we can do. At that point, so
that we don’t go insane at the unbalanced nature of it all, we need to remember
that we live in a fallen world and until God redeems this place from the curse
and removes sin, it’s not always going to be fair.
5. I’m not recommending defeatism or
fatalism here. I’m simply trying to be realistic. Don’t set your expectations
too high. In this life, no matter how you live or what you do, life isn’t always
going to be fair.
THE SECOND THING TO
REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY IS THAT WHAT HAPPENS IN YOU IS MORE
IMPORTANT THAN WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU.
1. Things are going to happen in this life
that we are powerless to change. We usually cannot rearrange someone else’s
behavior toward us, nor can we undo the moments in which someone has hurt us.
Maybe it can be prevented next time, but once it has happened, it has happened.
There is no backing up.
2. If we keep reliving the unhappy moment
and devote endless hours to appealing the verdict of a wrongdoing in our minds,
we will be left spent and miserable. Though it is sometimes hard to see, time
passed in the courtroom of our mind trying the case over and over is really time
wasted. Even though we’re sure the verdict is guilty, there is usually no way to
bring about justice in this life without becoming guilty ourselves. Our best
(and sometimes only) recourse is to ask the Lord to change our inner life – to
use this evil to bring about good in us.
3. We’ve seen that Joseph knew this truth.
For all that was done to him by his brothers, he could have died a bitter and
unhappy man. He didn’t do that though. At some point along the way he decided he
would concentrate his energies on being the best person that he could be for God
in whatever circumstance he found himself. Over the process of a lifetime,
because of this attitude, God could take him from a pit to a palace. One has to
wonder how different it might have been had Joseph chosen to spend endless hours
licking his wounds and rehearsing his hurts. After 23 years of living with this
choice of betterness rather than bitterness, as his brothers stood before him in
a position where revenge could have been a snap-of-the-fingers away, his verdict
was this: “…you meant evil
against me, but God meant it for good…”
4. Suppose you hold a glass of water as you
walk towards me. I carelessly (or deliberately) bump into you. Whatever you have
in the glass will probably spill out.
5. That is the way our lives are. When we
are bumped, whatever is inside comes out. For most of us, an injustice done to
us personally is a very jarring bump. Sadly, it is disgraceful sometimes the
things that spill out.
6. God wants the things inside the glass
cleaned up. From time to time He will allow us to be bumped, sometimes quite
forcefully and unjustly, to reveal what is there. A life where the work of the
Holy Spirit has been neglected will reveal a cup full of hatred, discord,
jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissention, faction, and envy. God
wants all of that to change. What happens in you is far more important than what
happens to you.
THE THIRD THING TO
REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY IS THAT GOD IS WATCHING TO SEE WHAT
YOU WILL DO.
1. My dear brothers and sisters, there is
more happening when an injustice is done to us than just the unpleasantness of
the moment. God is watching to see what we will do and He sees it all, from
beginning to end. As the Scripture clearly reveals, He is testing us. There are
so many verses on this subject that I hesitate to pick just one, however, there
is a passage that I have found quite helpful at such times. Maybe it can help
§ (1 Pet. 2:19-20) says, “For it is
commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is
conscious of God. But how is it to your
credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer
for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before
2. God is watching to see how we handle
unjust suffering. So what does God want
us to do when we suffer unjustly? These verses tell us that it finds favor with
God if we “bear up under the pain of
unjust suffering.” When we suffer, lets make God proud by enduring the pain
and handling it properly.
THE FOURTH THING TO
REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY IS THAT YOU MUST NOT BOW TO
1. All of us need to set some standards for
ourselves. We need to draw the line in the sand and say, “Beyond this point I
will not go – not for comfort – not for security – not for revenge – not for
§ Paul wrote to the Ephesians “Get rid of
all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of
malice” (Eph. 4:31).
a. You see there is no part of “all” that
allows for an exception. God wants all the bitterness out of you and
A doctor told a man that he had
rabies. Upon hearing the diagnosis, he took out a piece of paper and started
writing on it. The doctor thought, “Oh, he must be making up his will,” so he
asked, “What are you doing, making up your will?” The man said, “No, I’m just
writing down every person I’m going to bite.”
2. Sadly, that is how some folks handle
injustice. They are so bitter that they bite everyone else around
3. We must never bow to
THE FIFTH THING TO
REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY IS THAT WHAT YOU DO IS MORE
IMPORTANT THAN HOW YOU FEEL.
1. God has spelled out what our behavior is
to be in the kind of situation we’re discussing in many places in Scripture.
I’ll mention just a few:
§ Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say to you,
love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you…”
§ Luke 6:27-28 says, “But I say to you who
hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse
you, pray for those who mistreat you…”
§ Romans 12:20 says, “But if your enemy is
hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a
2. It isn’t particularly difficult to
figure out what these verses say we must do. The difficult part is our feelings,
isn’t it? Why is it so hard…
- To get on our knees and pray for that person whose
carelessness or neglect caused us so much pain?
- To go down to the store and buy a gift and send it to
that person whom we know must hate us?
- To say something that blesses them rather than
cursing them under our breath?
3. The answer is simple. Every feeling in
our bodies is screaming that it isn’t right!
4. Ah! We’ve come to an important crossroad
in this matter. We’ve come to the place where we learn whether we’re serious
about our faith or not. The true Christian will strive to do what is right even
if his/her feelings aren’t in favor of it.
5. Many of us have yet to learn this very
important part of our faith. Doing the right thing isn’t always the thing that
makes us feel good at the moment.
6. Many of the things God has called us to
do require us to go against our feelings for the moment. “Love your enemies?” Who feels like doing
7. But, you see the Christian knows that actions lead, feelings follow. Want to
see an example?
§ John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the
world that He gave his only begotten Son….”
8. God loved us so much that He gave His
Son. How do you suppose that made God feel? Was He jumping for joy when His Son
hung suffering on the cross? What do you think would have happened had God acted
on His feelings that day rather than His loving commitment to offer a way for
the world to be saved?
9. The right thing isn’t always the thing
that feels good at the moment. Actions lead, feelings follow. Where did the good
feelings come in then, when Jesus died on the cross? They came later, after the
sacrifice had been made and people were coming to God because of what Jesus
§ Hebrews 12:2 says exactly that: “fixing
our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before
Him endured the cross…”
10. The joy followed the cross. It didn’t
come prior or during. Likewise, the good feelings that result from our doing
right usually come after the act, not before. If we wait around in the
beginning, hoping to get our feelings to go along with our actions, we’ll seldom
do what is right.
11. How about it?
§ Are you returning good for
§ Are you turning the other cheek when it
is appropriate? Are you walking the second mile?
§ Are you praying for that person who has
hurt you so?
§ Are you, like God, allowing whatever
blessings you have in your life to fall on the just and the unjust, or are you
selective, based on the records you’ve kept of wrongs done against
§ Are you blessing rather than cursing?
(The word “bless” in this case means literally, “to speak well
12. “But I don’t feel like it!” Welcome to
the world of discipleship. It’s that way for all of us.
THE SIXTH THING TO
REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN TREATED UNFAIRLY IS THAT YOU ARE STILL THE BIGGER
1. In (Matthew 18), Jesus tells the story of a man who
owed a king ten million dollars. There was no way he could pay his debt and in
that day, there was no bankruptcy – only debtor’s prison or slavery. As he was
about to be thrown into prison, he begged the King to give him another chance
and more time to pay. The King listened to his pleading and felt mercy for him.
He didn’t just give him more time to pay. He completely forgave the debt. The
man walked away free.
2. You probably know the rest of the story.
As soon as he got home he found someone who owed him a few hundred dollars. The
man didn’t have the money, so this man who had just been forgiven a debt of
millions of dollars had his own debtor thrown into prison. After all, it’s only
just. “It’s what the man had coming for what he did to me. He should learn to
pay his debts on time! It’s his fault. Fair is fair,
3. Then the King got word of the whole
thing. He was angry and resummoned the man he had forgiven just a short time
before. To make the long story short, he called the unforgiving man “wicked” and
reinstated his millions of dollars of debt. The man went to prison until he
could pay it off – which, of course, was never. He went to prison for the rest
of his life.
§ Then Jesus said, “So shall My heavenly
Father also do to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your
4. My friends, no matter whom might wrong
us, we are still the bigger debtor. We always will be. God has forgiven a huge
debt that we could never pay on our own. Because of that, is it really that much
for God to ask us to overlook some of these hurts we experience here? I think
5. Are you one who feels you must even the
score here? Then expect God to even the score on you when you get to
1. I doubt that the following story is
true, but it does illustrate the truth I’ve been talking
A certain tenant farmer had worked
hard for many years to improve the production of the land he leased. Then
something happened that caused him to become very bitter. When it was time to
renew his lease, the owner told him he was going to sell the farm to his son who
was getting married. The tenant made several generous offers to buy it himself,
hoping the man’s decision would be reversed, but his pleading got nowhere. As
the day drew near for the farmer to vacate his home, his weeks of angry brooding
finally got the best of him. He gathered seeds from some of the most pesky and
noxious weeds he could find. Then he spent many hours scattering them on the
clean, fertile soil of the farm, along with a lot of trash and rocks he had
collected. To his dismay, the very next morning the owner informed him that
plans for his son’s wedding had fallen through, and therefore he would be happy
to renew the lease. He couldn’t understand why the farmer exclaimed in agonizing
tones, “Oh, Lord, what a fool I’ve been!”
2. Try as we might to even up the score
when we’re treated unfairly, the result for us will be the same as it was for
that tenant farmer. At the end, we’ll exclaim, “Oh, Lord, what a fool I’ve