1 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
4Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Mark 3: 1-6
Jesus healed a man’s hand, but instead of praise, people criticized him and plotted to kill him. Have you ever tried to be kind or do something good and then had to endure criticism and heavy repercussions? It isn’t fair, but Jesus suffered in the same way.
We have a natural tendency to explode with anger or be deeply hurt when we are punished for doing good. Aren’t we supposed to be rewarded? Yet life doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes people hurt us when we try to help them.
On a very minor level, children get mad at their parents when forced to do their homework or complete their chores. This escalates when children become teenagers. Parents are often torn between doing what is right for a child and maintaining peace and a good relationship. This struggle between disciplining a child and maintaining peace is probably the reason behind the phrase, “Be a parent to your child, not a friend.” It’s difficult to do the right thing when the consequences makes us squirm.
Although raising children is difficult, this type of situation can become worse. For example, missionaries are sometimes killed by the very people that they want to help. Friends who encourage a friend to give up an affair or an addiction are often verbally assaulted.
Sometimes it’s hard to do what’s right. Sometimes we become angry and disillusioned when we are hurt by the people we are trying to help. What should we do? Take a look at Jesus. He forgave those who hurt him. He continued to help people, but he did exercise caution. Most important, he did not seek revenge. He knew that God would bring about justice one day.
In the same manner, we must forgive those who hurt us. This does not mean that we put ourselves in a position to be constantly abused. It does mean that we care for ourselves by not letting our hearts become bitter.
People will take our good intentions and speak evil of us. People will plot against us. Yet, we must choose to forgive and let God determine the consequences for those who hurt us, either intentionally or unintentionally. We must ask God for wisdom in dealing with these difficult situations and take comfort in the fact that he sees our hearts and will one day reward us openly for the work that we have done for him.
- The Jesus In Me (thethirdcross.wordpress.com)