“But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.” – Matt. 27:12-14, NLT
“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.” – 1 Pet. 2:21-23, NLT
Not long ago I discovered that one of my children was subjected to some behavior that was egregiously inappropriate. Part of the reason why they was subjected to it was because of their connection to me and subsequently who I am and what I do. In other words, had they not been my child, more than likely, they would not have been accosted in the manner that they were. Being the passionate father that I am, my first instinct was to intensely, severely and aggressively address the situation. When a father loves his children, he does not handle insult and injury to them very well. This is especially the case when you feel this would not have happened to them if they were someone else’s child. I was actually seething and simmering about what happened. Recognizing that, I thought it wise to prayerfully wait until I was in a more subdued state of mind before I addressed the situation. I now realize that was God’s intervention.
The more I waited, the more I sensed an uneasiness with my intentions to take matters into my own hands. And then wouldn’t you know it? I started to discern the fact that the uneasiness was the Spirit of God obstructing my determination to address the situation. I then began to pray more about it. The more I prayed, the more I realized God DID NOT want me to handle this situation directly. And that was not what I wanted to hear. Nevertheless, God has this uncanny way of getting your attention and making it very clear when He wants things to go a certain way in your life. When you love God, you can’t help but begin to align yourself with what He wants, even when it is not what you want. And this is what happened; I slowly and reluctantly began to resign myself to let go of my intentions. I still wrestled with this need to defend what I considered to be an attack against my child and subsequently me. Then three things happened…
First, I noticed my wife’s eerie silence whenever I would speak of handling the matter myself. Her silence was undeniably noticeable because she supports me unconditionally. But she also loves me objectively. That means, she never agrees to anything with me that she knows is not right or good for me. Second, I talked with a very dear friend of mine who is an older seasoned man. He simply said to me, “Pastor Darren; just let God handle the matter.” And third, my morning prayer meditation today highlighted the passage above from Matt. 27:12-14. In the devotional part of the meditation, the prayer leader emphasized Jesus’ control of Himself with not defending Himself before Pilate even though He hadn’t done anything wrong and that He had the right and ability to do so. Then God showed me the comparison that is in the graphic above. I have strength when I simply insist on excersing my right to defend myself. But I am strong when I excercise responsibility to refrain from asserting my right and let God defend me. Those three things sealed it – I now had an unrefutably clear witness that God wanted me to leave the matter completely up to Him.
I gave up the fight and I have decided that I am going to do just that; I’m going to let God handle the matter. I have the strength to deal with it. But I want to be strong and discipline myself with the control that leaves the matter up to God. One of the reasons why I was resistant to leaving it in God’s hands is that I did not want my child to feel I had abandoned them and that their feelings were unimportant. But God checked me with that too. He reminded me of what the priority is – trustingly obeying Him above protecting my image as a father with my child. He let me know that when I step out of the way and let Him have His way, all of the bases will be covered, including redress for my child. In his epistle about Jesus’ situation, Peter said that Jesus left His case in God’s Hands – because He (God) always judges fairly, 1 Pet. 2:21-23.
Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation where you want to defend yourself because of a wrong. Before you go any further, ask yourself this question; what’s more important – “The Right To Defend Myself or The Responsibility To Allow God To Defend Me”? Let God prayerfully minister to you the answer…
Darren E Butler Sr