Break Free

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12, NIV)

When we are mistreated or we experience hatred or cursing, we feel outrage, anger, revulsion. How can we break free from that?

1. Identify the enemy.

The person who wounded you with words is not the enemy. The person who mistreated you is not the enemy. The enemy is the one who led him or her to do it.

2. Recognize the problem.

What caused those hateful words? What led to that terrible mistreatment of you? It is the power of sin. And unless a person comes to radical repentance and casts themselves on the mercy of God (to be delivered from this awful power and made into a new person), that power is going to lead them to hell. Every person born into this world is made in the image of God, and there is no greater tragedy than for a person made in the image of God to end up in the grip of evil.

3. Trust in the justice of God.

One of the reasons we find it so hard to show mercy is that we fear there may not be any ultimate justice. If God is not going to do justice, then we feel we need to pursue it ourselves. But God will do justice: “‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19).

Every sin that has ever been committed will ultimately come under the blood of Jesus or it will be destroyed in hell. Think of that and perhaps with time you may be able to pray for those who mistreat you, or seek the blessing of those who curse you, or do good to those who hate you.

Which one is a sticking point for you when you’re mistreated?

Leadership

Colin Smith (@PastorColinS) is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

Date Posted: May 8th, 2017