Psalm 109:4: “In return for my love they are my accusers, / But I give myself to prayer.”

January 21st, 2021 by Pastor Ed in devotional

David recounted in this psalm how he was attacked “without cause” by people and appealed to God for help. He stated that he had done everything possible to be both loving and to show friendship toward them, but they responded to his acts of kindness with betrayal and accusations of sin. He then called for justice on his enemies. In the New Testament, Jesus charges us to have a different attitude toward our enemies, one higher and more selfless than temporal justice:

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Matt. 5:43–44)

Most believers will experience this at least once in their lives. So when kindness is repaid with evil and false accusation, do we become bitter or better? God has given us 2 things that will help us grow spiritually. First, we need to resist the temptation to defend ourselves. British pastor F. B. Meyer wrote:

We make a mistake in trying always to clear ourselves. We should be wiser to go straight on, humbly doing the next thing, and leaving God to vindicate us. “He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon day.” There may come hours in our lives when we shall be misunderstood, slandered, falsely accused. At such times it is very difficult not to act on the policy of the men around us in the world. They at once appeal to law and force and public opinion. But the believer takes his case into a higher court and lays it before his God.

Second, we need to release ourselves by forgiving the person. We can forgive as Jesus said in Matthew: “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (6:14–15). The act of forgiveness is not just for the person who wronged us but also for us. When we forgive someone else, we are released from bitterness and God continues to freely forgive us. The only one suffering is the owner of the unforgiveness. If we don’t forgive, we effectively lock ourselves in a prison of negative bitterness and hinder our own relationship with God.

“LORD, we choose to forgive as You have forgiven us. Help us to give this back to You every time it comes up again this day.”