When Someone Thinks The Worst About You
The devil is always looking for someone he can find to judge the motives of your heart. It’s actually pretty easy for him to locate and tempt a person to forget his/her own shortcomings and focus on judging you. That’s because it’s human nature to quickly judge the behavior of another. He wants that person who is judging you to forget all that he/she has already been forgiven. And this is how Satan tries to undermine the gospel of Jesus Christ.
To make things even worse, this enemy of yours has an accomplice (the world). In fact, it’s become socially acceptable to assume the very worst in people without any regard to what they may have been thinking and feeling at the time of judgment.
When you have the best intentions in your behavior and someone instantly thinks the worst about you, there is not necessarily one right way to respond. After all, in one Biblical passage Jesus said after you’ve been slapped on one cheek to offer the other (Mt. 5:39); and in another chapter he told the rejected disciples to shake the dust off their feet and go to another town (Lk. 9:5-6). No, it’s not that Jesus is inconsistent. And, no, it’s not up to the wounded to merely act according to how they feel in the moment. Rather, it’s time for Holy Spirit discernment.
As you seek God for guidance and wait for Him to show you how to proceed in each case, there are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- What makes me to want to defend myself in this situation? Is it necessary for me to be the one to correct someone’s faulty thinking about me?
- Can I understand how this person may have been tempted to think the worst about me just as I can be tempted to think the worst of others?
- Will it aid or harm the relationship (or relationships with others impacted) if I do or don’t respond in a certain manner?
- How can I respond in such a way as to draw the person closer to Christ? Would there be some value in responding in a surprisingly positive way?
- Does this judgment of me reveal that the person has a need that I can meet? Or does it at least lead me to pray that someone else can?
- Are my raw and unprocessed feelings preventing me from producing a mature response?
- Does this event signify that it’s time for us to reconsider the level of involvement with one another, releasing both of us from additional hurt and pain? Or is it time to let the Lord flow forgiveness and reconciliation through me to heal the relationship?
- Am I looking for retaliation with the response I give (adding sin to my record), or am I allowing the Lord to be the One to give me comfort?
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against…the rulers of the darkness of this age.” (Eph. 6:12)