Matthew 5:11-12 – Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (NIV)
My mare, Mama, was walking very stiffly. As she is very old, with the recent drop in temperature, I simply deduced that age was catching up with her. When the problem persisted, however, I asked our farrier, Dani, to check her out.
As she scraped the bottom of the hoof, removing the imbedded dirt and debris, a wet spot appeared. An abscess had been discovered, along with a tiny, sharp stone, probably the cause of the problem. Fortunately, the abscess had already burst, and by cleansing the hoof, it began to drain. We were not yet done, however. The hoof had to be washed, and then, hydrogen peroxide was poured into the wound. Once this was done, a gauze pad was applied to the bottom of the hoof, which was then wrapped in duct tape. Mama was kept in the barn for twenty-four hours to keep the bandage on as long as possible and then returned to the corral.
Within seventy-two hours, the abscess was clean and dry, and Mama resumed walking without difficulty.
When people insult and hurt us because we are Christians, we, too, can develop an abscess of bitterness within our hearts and minds if we are not careful. Being ridiculed, disrespected, and treated badly is never easy. Jesus, however, tells us that we are blessed when people insult us, persecute us, and say all kinds of evil falsely against us because of our faith. He tells us that great is our reward in heaven when such things happen. Knowing this and applying it, however, can sometimes be easier said than done, so here are a few things that I have learned to do when it happens to me.
When I am ridiculed and treated badly, I first have to acknowledge how much it hurt me. I then need to give that hurt over to Christ and ask for His healing. I need to allow Him to scrape away the pain and embarrassment and then to flush my wounded heart with His comfort and love. Then, I must dwell upon the Scriptures that discuss loving our enemies and doing good to those who harm us, instead of being angry and retaliating. As I do so and allow these verses to wash over me, I find that peace returns to my wounded heart, and any bitterness and anger drains away. Lastly, I pray for God's blessing upon the person or persons who mistreated me, and I praise God that He is in control and working everything that happens to me for the good of His kingdom, as well as for my life, both now and for eternity.
How about you? Are any abscesses festering in your life today due to how you have been treated because of your belief in Christ? If so, you now know what to do to flush them out and once again begin walking in wholeness.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your Word that is a lamp of wisdom in our lives, guiding and directing us to do what is right in Your sight in any and every circumstance. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.
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