Defrauded Christians

fraudThis post is an introduction for the next two days. Be sure to check back…

Co-workers malign you unfairly. They misrepresent you to your boss. People lie about you and your family. People do things that harm you and yours for many years. So should you: Get even… malign them… do unto them as they did unto you… exact your pound of flesh… go after eye for eye… take them to court (Slander/libel)?

Following Christ is contrary to the desires of an unregenerate heart. It isn’t natural to turn the other cheek when treated wrong. It isn’t natural to do good to those who harm us… to help those who stab you in the back… to bless a person who insults you… to take a hit and not fight back when people attack you. We want to defend out name… prove we aren’t what others say we are… and protect our reputation. Consider 1 Cor 6:5-8…

Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers, 6 but brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers? 7 To have lawsuits at all with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded? 8 But you yourselves wrong and defraud—even your own brothers!

Paul writes to take the hit… be wronged… be defrauded. It is better to endure those things than for the name of Christ to be maligned.

The name of Christ… the reputation of Christianity… and the validity of the Gospel are more important than “winning” a dispute in a church. Humility and obedience will cause a Christian to “Suffer according to God’s (and) entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Pet 4:17).

The hallmark of a Christian is their attitude and conduct in the face of suffering wrong… especially when the wrong happens from within the church or from church members. If or when someone (Anyone… including church members) say or do things that harm you, choose to take God at His Word from Romans 12:10…

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 12 Be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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