How To Respond When You Feel Mistreated
Have you ever encountered unfair treatment? If you live in a physical body and breathe air, I already know with certainty your answer is yes. We all know it’s a painful experience and most often we have to deal with feelings of hurt, anger, and mistrust. It is most agonizing when it comes at the hands of someone in authority. Yet if we could see it through God’s eyes, we would not come out of the experience hurt and scarred but rather strengthened.
Peter addresses this kind of treatment from a leader by saying ,For God is pleased with when for the sake of your conscience, you patiently endure unfair treatment (1Peter 2:19 NLT) I remember an incident that happened with my wife and one of my older sons. He felt his brother got more than he did and that treatment from his mother was unfair. He protested, Mom, that’s unfair!
My wife calmly responded, Son, life is not fair!
He looked at her as if to say, How can you say this? You are my mom.
Lisa questioned him, Was it fair that Jesus took our punishment and died on the cross when He did nothing wrong?
My son’s eyes registered the wisdom, and he was silenced.
Peter goes on to say, For to this you were called—-(vs. 21) Whenever I am preaching from this scripture, I usually have the people look up from their Bibles, and say with enthusiasm, Everyone say these words, This is my calling! We are always talking about our call in life; this is one of them.
Hear what Peter says “For says: “For even to this you were called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps” (Peter 2:21, AMP)
How did He suffer? Peter explained it in the previous verse…..unfair treatment from authorities. At times, God places us in situations where we receive unreasonable treatment as he did with David, Joseph, Daniel, the apostles, etc. Our calling is to handle it correctly, and Jesus left us His personal example of how to do it.
You may now wonder, What good does suffering harsh treatment from leaders accomplish? This wars against our natural minds since its logic appears absurd. However, the wisdom of God molds a submitted heart through this kind of treatment three ways: First, it makes room for and speeds up God’s righteous judgment. Second, it positions you for a blessing, and lastly it develops in us the character of Christ.
In regard to God’s judgment, Paul writes, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the lord” (Roman 12:19) Defense, correction, vindication, or other appropriation responses should precede form the hand of God, not man. An individual who vindicates himself lacks the humility of Christ. No one on earth possesses more authority than Jesus, yet He never defended himself before authorities.
The specific situation Peter refers to was Jesus standing trial. We read, “And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing” (Mark 15:3). Let’s set the stage. This is a court of law, and everything spoken by these witnesses will be officially used against Jesus. The men testifying are the religious and political leaders of His nation. These are men of influence whose words carry great weight, but there is not a shred of truth to what they say. They speak complete lies, yet Jesus is silent before His accusers and doesn’t defend himself!
By John Bevere