“Living in heaven, with saints we don’t know, oh that will be glory. Living on earth with saints we do know, well, that’s another story”
Nobody likes to be attacked. Especially by people that profess loving Christ, while at the same time destroying another person’s reputation. My friend Dave K. put it this way:
Some people are not only willing to die for the truth; they are willing to kill for it.
Whether you are a pastor, church leader or church member, you will eventually deal with antagonists. Here are three things you should remember (based on Daniel 3):
1. Those you helped yesterday might betray you tomorrow. Nobody “owes” you anything.
In Daniel 2-3 we find a very familiar story. Three Hebrew boys betrayed by the same people that a short time earlier had been saved by Daniel from sure destruction. Instead of gratefulness, they chose spitefulness. Instead of returning the favor, they returned evil for good. Such is life.
- Kids you poured your life into in youth group steal from you. (happened to me several times)
- Members you helped out of sticky situation write letters to the conference for your dismissal (or at the very least, a transfer)
- Marriages you helped save; now spread false rumors about your intentions.
Ministry is messy. Love, lead and live owing God everything and expecting nothing in return. A good counsel to follow is to love everyone, but trust a few. The Bible encourages, even commands us to love everyone. It also warns us about putting our expectations and trust in humans.
2. Engaging the enemy is a waste of time.
The three Hebrew boys spoke several times in the chapter. Not once was their conversation directed to their betrayers. They showed no resentment or ill will. They made no threats neither did they lament the fact that they were ungrateful. Engaging the enemies gives them power they don’t have. Keep the conversation about God, and keep the actions purposeful and spiritual. Let God take care of the enemies. Don’t negotiate with terrorist. A friend of mine put it this way:
Engaging haters is like wrestling with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.
3. God’s reward supersedes man’s resentment. The stronger and more public the attack, the greater the reward.
There are two constant themes in the book of Daniel: resentment follows reward and reward follows obedience. Your job is to be faithful. God’s job is to take care of the rest. I have seen person after person, in situation after situation, stay faithful despite the attacks and be promoted, blessed and prospered by God. That is not our motivation, yet many times it is a reality. Even if in this life the blessings do not arrive, out attitude towards our accusers will impact the lives of other people we will see in heaven.
Maybe today some of you are dealing with difficulties like I have mentioned. I would love to pray for you. Leave your requests in the comment section.