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 Peter 2:23 (NLT)
How do you take it when you’ve been done wrong? It’s one of the greatest challenges in life. Whether it comes from people we know – and thought were friends – or from strangers, mistreatment is hard to take. Everything inside us wants to fight back. I don’t deserve this! This isn’t fair! The world says, “Don’t get mad. Get even!” “Revenge is sweet!” But, if you’ve ever responded like that, you have felt the hollowness it brings. That sweet promise of revenge soon turns bitter, and we wallow in our hurt. Injustice is the product of a fallen world. So, how can you do right when you’ve been done wrong?
There’s three ways to take mistreatment:
- You can take it personally and play the victim or, even worse, accept mistreatment as though it was deserved. It’s been said, “If you’ve been kicked by a mule, consider the source.”
- You can take it out on others. This way just continues the cycle of hurt. Hurting people hurt people.
- You can take it to the Lord.
Peter tells us what Jesus did and did not do when He suffered mistreatment. Jesus didn’t sin. He didn’t retaliate. He didn’t even threaten revenge. So, what did He do? This part is crucial if we are ever going to do right when we’ve been done wrong. Jesus left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. You can do something about injustice! You can take it to God and entrust yourself to Him, trusting that He will make it right one day! There is a payday someday! God will judge with justice. That’s why Peter goes on to say in 1 Peter 4:19,
“So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for He will never fail you.”
Peter said, when you do that, you are following in the footsteps of Jesus.
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 God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. 1 Peter 2:19-21 (NIV)