Sunday, January 18, 2015

Love through Injustice

An injustice is a quality or an event relating to unfairness or underserved outcomes. How do we measure injustice? Is it merely the person cutting us off on the highway or in a line? Is it being physically injured, affected, or disabled? Is it that bad thing that happened to us that one time that we never talk about to anyone? Is it your spouse leaving you after years, kids, and memories? Is it people treating others differently because of the color of their skin, the way they identify, or who they love?

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6)

Evil is all around us. It is exhibited in people or their actions daily. We must not delight in that evil, but we must know that the truth will prevail. We must love. Kill them with kindness - isn't that what you are supposed to do to your enemies; to those who harm you?!

But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also (Matthew 5:39)

Can you do that? Can you keep going back after a friend has stabbed you in the back? Forgive them and love them through it? Can you not sue someone who has taken something from you or wronged you? Can you really forgive the person who did that awful thing to you that one day that you never talk about? Can you be the one who visits the man in jail that killed someone you loved? Are we not meant to forgive and love? Can we really turn our cheeks and love through the injustices we face?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)

I have loved this verse my entire life. This has truly been a sounding board for me in good and baad times. God's intentions are not to harm us. He doesn't want us to be sad or lonely. These are outcomes of the injustices of man. We were given free will and that allows people to harm us even when it is not what God wants.

Hope and a Future! There is more to this life than the injustices we face. We can come out of the other side, we can fight for what is right, we can have hope and a future that is bigger and brighter than what we are facing right now.

Some days I wish I had all the answers. Some days I wish I knew what the future held for me. Then there are the days that I am grateful that I do not know. Knowing what is right and good for me is great, but we don't always make the right decisions or do what is best for us or those around us. We have struggles, life happens and we are tested. If we knew what the future had in store for us, we would likely run the opposite way just as Jonah did, out of fear.

I do not want to fear the unknown or the known. I do not want my past to take over my present or future. I do not want the injustice in my life, in this world to take over our hearts and leave us angry, bitter, and in darkness.

So... what does this mean?

It means we have to love.... love the ones who hurt us, the ones who mistreat us, the ones who do not understand us. We have to go beyond killing them with kindness... we have to love. How radical of an idea is it to love the one who did all those horrible things to you?! I'm not saying put yourself in a situation of harm, to enter into a negative place that you will be in danger... I am saying that sometimes even from afar, in our minds or hearts, we have to love them.

Love is a tricky thing. Some people get it and others just don't. Dying on a cross so that you may live... that is true love. Not a tingly feeling you get when you are near someone... that is infatuation. Lets be clear when we talk about love... true, sacrificial love.

I will never come into contact with the man who caused injustice in my life when I was a teen, but I still have come to a place in my life that has allowed me to forgive him. To understand and know that loving the person does not mean loving the actions. Forgiving and loving allows my heart to be open and free to move on and forward. If I held onto that injustice, that hatred, hurt and betrayal - I would not be able to love anyone.

The injustice of my physical body hurting or not functioning the same way as others - I am working on this one still... Honestly, it is very difficult at times to be okay with the idea that my body and bones are not the same as everyone else my age - that someday I will face serious problems because my auto immune disease will take over. It also kills me on the inside that my body doesn't work the same as every other woman, but though it is unfair, it is.

Today I heard a man say that there is a reason for everything we face, and though we may never see it, know it, or understand it, God is turning the injustice into an opportunity for his will and his good. So, that is what I choose to focus on. He has a plan for me - that is not going to always align with my hopes and dreams, but what I have to remember is that His hopes and dreams are bigger and better than my own. But, that starts with loving through the injustice.

I know this is difficult and I do not write this because it is something I have mastered in the least, I write because it is something that I am challenged by. Something that I know others are challenged by as well. We all face injustices through our life and we know what it means to be anger, bitter, upset, and want to lash out and give them back what they deserve.... But we can't. We are called to forgive. We are called to love. We are called to turn the other cheek. See God in the good and bad. Know that he has a plan for you and that he will see that through no matter what hurdles are placed in our way!

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