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Bring disgrace upon the arrogant people who lied about me; meanwhile, I will concentrate on your commands. – Psalm 119:78 (NLT)
As people we are wired to desire justice. Justice for the poor, justice for those who have been wronged, justice for ourselves when something is done to us or being said about us – justice. As we go through life, there are going to be times when we are wronged. It can be something trivial or it can be something huge and this can really hinder our spiritual growth if we allow it to. Someone could lie about you (as is the case in this verse), someone could take advantage of you, someone could abuse you physically, sexually, emotionally – the possibilities are endless. Oftentimes we cannot control what is done to us, but we can certainly control how we act in response to the situation. When something is done that you feel calls for some kind of justice, do not seek it out yourself. Now obviously, take that sentence with a grain of salt. If you need to go to some kind of authority about what has happened that is absolutely fine. However when bad things happen, the soil of our hearts is so ripe for bitterness and unforgiveness to grow in abundance. This can be a dangerous thing because the more hatred and unforgiveness that grows, the less room for God’s love and light there is. Bitterness grows like a weed if it’s not dealt with immediately. In Ephesians 4:31 and 32 it says to “get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” This command could not be more clear – no matter what is done to you, no matter what is said about you – it is your responsibility to get rid of all the bitterness and unforgiveness that can breed in your heart. In Psalm 119:78, the psalmist gives us the perfect way to do this – concentrate on the word. Let God be the one who brings justice on those who have hurt you – you need only to concentrate on His good and perfect word, on His everfaithful love and kindness. In doing so, you are actively pursuing God instead of bitterness and there will be no way that your heart can be consumed with sin. Think about who you need to forgive today, think about what you need to let go of and get into His word so that your heart will be rid of bitterness.