Picture this, you are at school or at work and one of the friends you consider yourself to be close to gets mad at you for one reason or another. They start marginalizing you and treating you poorly all for reasons you don’t even know about or understand. It could be because you didn’t do something they asked you to do because you forgot. It could be because you accidentally said the wrong thing at the wrong time to them without even realizing it. It could be because they are jealous of you. It could be because you have spent too much time with another friend. I could go on and on. It doesn’t take much to find out that it is easy to get on people’s good and bad side very quickly. Many times we find ourselves on the defense for reasons that make no sense whatsoever when dealing not only with friends, but also family.
Perhaps the simple truth of the matter is spiritual warfare is very real and readily used by evil to separate us from each other and thus the love and respect we naturally crave. That is a by-product of living in a fallen world. The good news is that nothing, and I mean nothing at all can separate us from the love of God. Nothing.
We were not meant to be prideful. We were made to love like God loves. But when sin entered our psyche we became aware of shame. We became aware of our faults. We became aware of our shortcomings. This is a difficult thing for us humans to face head on. So rather than look at and acknowledge our own faults, we would rather look at the faults of others and point the finger elsewhere.
I heard an interesting quote recently. It goes something like this, “don’t be judgmental toward others just because their sins are different than yours.” Sounds like Jesus telling the hypocrites that wanted to stone the prostitute to “let the one who is sinless cast the first stone.”
If we actually followed this advice, there would be a lot more love going around in this world. But we don’t always love as we should. This is why we are so blessed to have the loving God that we do who offers us a chance to be redeemed. He shows us mercy even when we don’t deserve it. He provides us with inner strength if we let Him. He protects us from evil when we ask Him. He fills our hearts with love when we listen to Him.
The God of the Jews and Christians (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) is so loving, He sent His Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to us. Jesus came down from heaven, became incarnate and endured being mocked and disrespected, blamed for things He never did, and tried to spread love yet was hated by the elites of the time due to jealousy. This is the most classic case of evil not being able to co-exist with pure goodness.
Jesus performed beautiful healing miracles for others and was spit upon; Jesus was tortured and made to drag a very heavy cross up a hill then nailed to it and hung there until He died. He did not do this because He could not save Himself. He did this to show us how much God loves us. Both God, the Father, and God, the Son, are completely and utterly in love with each and every one of us. So much so that God will never give up on us, no matter what. Even up to our last breath, God gives each of us a chance to be with Him in heaven after we leave this earthly life.
That is the “Good news of the Gospel.”
What we humans must always remember is that there will always be reasons that people chose to marginalize us. We could simply be too pretty, too poor, too nice, too loving, too giving, too vulnerable, too compassionate, etc. Notice these are all good things that I pointed out. What does evil hate? It hates good. Therefore, when we try to be good as God tries to help us be, evil is drawn to us in order to try to stomp out the goodness and light in us. This is where hate, jealousy, arrogance, disrespect, bullying, and all kinds of other ways to humiliate people comes from. My hope is that you will recognize these situations for what they are and not let your light dim because of them. In fact, these are the times when your light should burn its brightest.
Recognize this process for what it is and you will no longer worry about when people marginalize and disrespect you. You will find that you no longer care in the same way when you are disrespected and treated with distain. As a result, people who allow evil to dominate them will no longer affect you in ways that leave you vulnerable, needy, or hurt. This is when God’s love for us truly triumphs over evil.
It is only at this point that we as human beings truly begin to accept how much God loves us. You accept it because you can finally begin to feel it. You feel it on your insides. It feels much better than hate. It is a love that is beyond all others. It is real. It is true. It is everlasting.
God’s love is the most powerful because it is from God.
While people often go back on their word, God never goes back on His word. God never lies. God doesn’t need to be jealous of people. God simply loves us because He is love. All He asks for in return is that we acknowledge Him as our one and only God, love Him, trust Him completely, and spend time with Him.
This is what we all need to know and understand in order to be well adjusted and happy.
Please remember this the next time someone either in your own family or a close friend is mean to you for reasons you don’t understand. There is spiritual warfare. This has been talked about throughout the history of the world for a reason. It is real. Fortunately for us, God and His truth, light, and goodness trump everything else in existence both now and forever.