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Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19 (NLT)

How do you respond to someone who attacks you? Or maybe the question should be “Do you respond or react?”

Reaction is immediate, swift and impulsive. Response involves thought and time and deciding if the best action is non-action. Sometimes, of course, the situation itself dictates the answer to that question. For example, when physical harm is imminent there is no time to waste. Action must be swift.

There are other times when our best action may not be reaction but taking time to step back and consider our response. The human reaction when we are attacked is either fight or flight. The decision is often determined by our ability, or perceived ability to win. That’s what it’s really all about isn’t it? Isn’t that why the guy cut you off yesterday? You were in HIS lane? Isn’t that why you felt so good (for awhile anyway) when you didn’t give a tip to that incompetent, rude server at the restaurant during lunch? Isn’t that why you got into the face of your teenager when they were disrespectful to you ‘for the last time’? It was all about control, all about who will come out on top.

From the very beginning of time, every conflict has been about who will control what or whom. That was the motivation behind Satan as he entered the garden, it’s the basis of every national and family conflict ever since. We want to win and sometimes we want to win at all costs.

Psalm 37:11 teaches us, “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.”

That’s just the opposite of how we normally think. It’s not the meek that get anything except to be treated as doormats. But meekness isn’t weakness; meekness is having power that is under control. As believers in Jesus Christ we are not called to be doormats, we are children of the king. We are, however called to be meek. We have all the power of the Triune God on our side, but we are to consider how we can be meek when it comes to our own way.

Meekness is hard because meekness means that even though we have all power and even though we may be right, we release the situation in which we feel attacked or mistreated to God so that he can handle it.

Meekness means we wait for God’s timing, not our own. God has promised to protect us. He’s promised to be with us, to walk with us during the dark valleys of life. Sometimes his promises seem slow, but they are not slow. He’s just much more patient than we are.

Meekness means we trust God’s methods. When we are mistreated or attacked we have a pretty good idea of how it should be handled. Usually, if we are honest, it will be handled in a way that gives us glory. However, God’s intention is never to give us glory; God’s intention is to bring glory to Himself; it’s never about revenge but always about restoration.

Meekness goes against every human part of us. It can only come as we learn to give control of our lives to Jesus through the power of His Holy Spirit.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus. I confess that many of the conflicts I’m involved in are a result of my demands for my own way and not for your glory or the restoration of others. Empower me with your Spirit to give you the control in the conflicts in my relationships. Amen.


Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” Genesis 18:14 (NLT)

You can’t do it. You know you can’t. It’s impossible. You’ve tried before and failed and you’ll fail again. Why bother to try? You really need to be more realistic about your abilities. You’ve prayed about it. You’ve done everything right and it hasn’t happened. Why not just give it up now. Move on. That’s one dream that was never meant to be.

We’ve heard it all before. Those voices that remind us that we’ve failed. Those not-so-gentle reminders that we’ve fallen short of our potential or expectations. We’ve wasted yet another opportunity for success. We haven’t measured up, we don’t measure up, and since it seems to be a pattern, we probably don’t have much of a chance to measure up in the foreseeable future.

Words of gloom and doom can come from the expected sources; the people who seem to have as their goal in life to be our enemies regardless of how we try to live in peace with them. These remarks can come from those who are so-called friends but are really wolves in sheep’s clothing. It’s especially painful when they preface their remarks with “I’m telling you this in Christian love”. (Yeah, right. I can feel the love oozing from your pores.) Even parents are guilty of the destructive tongue, those who are supposed to nurture us and care for us.

Some people should be given the benefit of the doubt I suppose. Their intentions may be noble; it’s just their method that has the diplomacy of a fox gone wild in the chicken coop. Well intentioned attacks are still attacks!

But the most painful voice we hear, the most destructive one that has the most impact on us is the voice that comes from within. We are often our worst critic. We are the ones that can do the most damage to our own possibilities. I can imagine Sarah’s frustration when God said she’d have a baby. She’d heard God promise this before but the promise had long been drowned out by the women at the well who constantly asked “So, you pregnant yet?” It wasn’t always a verbal question, but there was no denying it was there.

The words ricocheted from one side of her skull to the other. “Is nothing to hard for the Lord? No, of course not. But where’s my baby?” Then one day it happened. There were stirrings inside her that she’d never felt before but longed for since she was a young woman. A few months later the midwife handed her a little pink bundle of God’s fulfilled promise!

Never give up. Never listen to the voices of the nay Sayers and the speakers of gloom and doom. Your Heavenly Father, the God of the universe, Creator of the seen and the unseen, loves you. God’s promises may come in ways we don’t expect, but they will come. His promises may take longer than we’d like, but they always come in his perfect time.

Never stop believing in God’s ability to give you the victory you desire. Never give up on you. Losing faith in yourself will keep you from the blessings God so earnestly wants to give you.

PRAYER: Father God, all my life I’ve been running from the voices that tell me ‘I can’t’. Some of those words have come from people I loved and trusted the most. Their words have left a gaping wound in my soul. Some of those words have come from me. I ask that you would fill the wound in my soul with your love and forgiveness. Empower me to believe that your word is true and your promises will be fulfilled in your time. Grant me the patience to wait. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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