“What other people think of you is none of your business.” - Paolo Coelho
Terry and I have learned some people we know were fed a story about us. Mind you, there is no truth to the story they were told, but they believed the story. When we learned about this, we were both really angry, not to mention hurt and shocked.
Part of me wanted to put on my Sassy Southern Girl Socks and go straight over to the folks and tell them the truth.
The other part of me decided to sit on this and pray for the truth to come out, and for people to realize who and what Terry and I both are.
That second part of me should win more of my inner battles and arguments.
Anyway, I listened to The Holy Spirit guiding me to keep my mouth shut and just do the next right thing, over and over, no matter what other people said or thought about us.
I love that quote, “What other people think of you is none of your business,” and it is very true. However, what other people think about Jesus *is* my business, if they are basing their opinion of Jesus on my behavior. Because I make no secret about wanting to live a life for Him, and trying so hard to be Christ-like; the sassy-southern girl socks are typically not the right option for me. And I do care what other people think about my Jesus; far more than caring about what they think about me.
So one night recently at dinner, Terry and I were talking about how to handle what we learned about the lie told about us and how we wanted to proceed. I said, “If we say anything, we look as bad as (the person) who lied. Plus we look like gossips.” Terry agreed and took it a step further. He said, “I believe we are being persecuted for our faith … which when you think about it, is an honor. So we have to trust what God is doing in this situation and just pray for the truth to come out. And if it doesn’t, no matter what, we will be faithful in how we live honoring Papa.”
I often wonder if the truth ever indeed comes out, and if the liars and the thieves are ever brought to justice.
Then I read this passage again, and suddenly it was like reading it for the first time:
“You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell likes; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors. But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies - make straight your way before me. Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongue they speak deceit. Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.” - Psalm 5:4-10 (NIV)
The note in my Study Bible about this passage says, “this passage has caused many Christians to wince, in view of Jesus’ instructions to turn the other cheek and to pray for one’s enemies and his own example on the cross. Actually, these “imprecations” are not that at all; rather, they are appeals to God to redress wrongs perpetrated against the psalmists by imposing penalties commensurate with the violence done in accordance also with normal judicial procedure in human courts. The psalmists knew that he who has been wronged is not to right that wrong by his own hand but is to leave redress to the Lord, who says, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” (Dt. 32:35, see Proverbs 20:22, Romans 12:19). Therefore, they appeal their cases to the divine Judge (see Jer 15:15).”
That explanation was as important to me as the scripture was.
I absolutely do not need to put on my, “Sassy Southern-Girl Socks,” and go kick the truth into anyone. I need to trust The Lord to handle the justice, and trust in His timing to avenge and repay the evil done by others.
Y’all. I get it. This is hard. It is so hard. It is even harder and more challenging and difficult when we want to live a life pleasing to Papa. When we want to live a life that honors Jesus … we remove the, “Let’s go get justice” hat, and put on the helmet of salvation. (Ephesians 6:17)
The helmet of salvation will guard our thoughts from attacks from the enemy. The enemy whispers to me, “Go stand up for yourself, Aimee! Go stand up for Terry! Go tell them all the truth about that person!” But my Lord tells me, “Be still and be quiet, Aimee. It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them.” - Deuteronomy 32:35 (NIV)
Don’t take justice or “payback” in your own hands, because the enemy loves it when we do that. Hand your problems over to God to handle for you. He can, He will and He does.
And His truth always wins. That’s all that matters.