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What to Do When People Do You Dirty

Ever found yourself utterly dumbfounded when someone straight up does you dirty? Gosh, I've been there...so many stories I could tell. It's hard to keep your cool and your soul clean when you've straight up been violated. Maybe someone stole from you, told lies about you, blamed you for something you didn't do, assaulted your character, or someone you trusted cheated you. 

I come before you today with some challenging #SoulChecks to help you overcome a hurtful situation to help you become MORE than a conqueror and a VICTOR rather than a victim. I write from the space of having overcome some tough stuff and having to shift my internal feelings to eternal truths. And I write as a record to reflect back on when facing difficult trials.

 

You get to choose: Bitter or Better

The hard truth is, you can't change what happened to you...but you CAN decide what happens within you. Are you going to be a victim of your circumstance or choose to be victorious by being brave courageous and going through the process of your own heartwork to ensure you are living in accordance with our Father's will? 

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  -Ephesians 4:31 ESV

In my early 20's I had two roommate situations that ended very badly. When I was 22 I decided to leave everything I had ever known and move from AZ to Colorado. I bravely and foolishly found a man with basement for rent on Craigslist and moved in. {CRAZY, I know!} For my first few months I slept in this stranger's basement on an air mattress. {Thank you, Shawn for not being a serial killer.} Ha. Then I met Bailey. She was a younger girl that was a friend of a friend and she was looking for a new living situation. Although I didn't know her very well,  we found a beautiful, newly renovated apartment and agreed to sign a 6 month lease together. Well, 4 months in I came home one day to a disaster. She had moved out  and left a horrific mess. Oh, and on top of it, she went through my belongings and stole some important items. Like the Coach purse my mom bought me for high school graduation, the diamond ring my stepdad gave me one Valentine's Day, and the Tiffany Ring I bought myself at 18 when I got my first check with a comma in it. (Among many other items). I was furious. There was trash strewn everywhere and I discovered her dog had used her bedroom as a giant potty pad and literally had to cut dog poop out of the carpet. Gross. 

This caused me such financial distress. I had to make payment arrangements with the apartment manager to cover the full $1,000 rent on my own and beg them to change the locks even though she was still on the lease. One day I came home to find the electricity had been turned off. Bailey had put the account in her name and I would pay her my portion. Evidently she never paid the electric company. Another time I heard a knock at my door to find the Rent-A-Center representative there looking to confiscate the couch she had failed to make payments on. And yet another time I came home to a court notice that Bailey failed to pay back a payday loan and was facing a lawsuit. It was a disaster. She never answered the phone or returned my calls. But, clearly there was a pattern of irresponsibility. 

At the end of the lease, I moved into a one bedroom apartment I could afford. But I still ended up in collections for a couple thousand dollars for the damages of that apartment and had to struggle to pay every cent to clear it off my credit. Even though it wasn't my fault. 

 

You can't play victim to your own decisions

Sometimes, even with the best intentions, things go sour and sideways. There will be times others will abuse your good will and slap you with the same hand you tried to help them up with. Sometimes we suffer due to the consequences of our own disobedience and not using the gift of discernment we are equipped with as a Holy Spirit filled believer. But, through these unfortunate situations, we get to ask God to reveal the greater lessons He wants us to learn. It doesn't mean we become bitter or hard-hearted and choose to be unloving and guarded, but rather lean into the Lord and get clearance from Him what missions to subscribe to and which partnerships are healthy and God-glorifying and which situations to give into His hands. 


Learn to be a fruit inspector

Part of growing in wisdom is learning how to become a good fruit inspector. There are 9 attributes of Godly character and a Holy Spirit driven life as written in Galatians:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  -Galatians 5:22,23

On the contrary, we are also given some qualities of the flesh that are opposed to the Spirit. When these desires are present, they are obvious:

  • Sexual immorality
  • Impurity
  • Sensuality
  • Idolatry
  • Sorcery
  • Enmity
  • Strife
  • Jealousy
  • Fits of anger
  • Rivalries
  • Dissensions
  • Divisions
  • Envy
  • Drunkenness
  • Orgies
  • ...And things like these.

We have to be willing to allow others to exercise their own free will. Even those we love. We may want more for them, we may want to help them as much as we can...but remember...we're called to be LIKE Jesus, not BE Jesus. Take caution not to develop a "savior complex" and put yourself in a position to actually block the work of the Lord for TRUE and LASTING transformation because we're enabling and coloring it as being loving. Prayer is powerful. Ask the Lord to lead you, strengthen you and give you supernatural wisdom for engaging in tough situations and relationships with people living with rampant, unrepented sin. 

 


Choose Peace

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. -Romans 12:18 NIV

I know it's not easy to feel peace in the midst of a dirty situation. But we mustn't operate in feelings but by choice. We can't allow the actions of others to pull us out of Kingdom Character. Why? Because as a believer, we are held to a higher standard as a representative of Christ. And, may I remind you...Jesus modeled this for us. He was crucified for no just cause. He chose death WILLINGLY in order to pardon OUR sins and reconcile us back in unfiltered relationship with the Father. So, when you find yourself in the thick of emotions, consult with Jesus. Ask Holy Spirit (our counselor, guide and advocate) to comfort us so that we can respond appropriately and live free from a sickness of heart. Try to find an amicable solution...however know when you’re dealing with an unreasonable fool..check out the Proverbs about fools….


Hold your tongue

Nowhere in The Great Commission does it say “and set all the fools straight” ...choose your battles and protect your sanity. Sometimes the wisest thing we can do is say nothing at all. But when we decide to speak up, it's important to do so with wisdom and guidance from the Lord. We want to ensure our words are honest and life giving, drenched with grace and mercy. We cannot be responsible for the actions, reactions or responses from others but we can decide which arguments to engage with and which to leave to the Lord for vindication. Know that the Lord sees injustice and will deal with it accordingly. Pray for blessing and mercy over your wrongdoers knowing that most often hurting people hurt people, but YOU, my dear friend are healed; sanctified and set free. Live in that reality. 


Yep, I'll say it.... the "F word" 

Forgive.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  -Colossians 3:13 NIV

I'm not saying it's easy. It can be really, REALLY hard. And it will be an ongoing choice. Because you serve a just God, you have a heart of justice. Just be cautious so as not to allow the root of unforgiveness to contaminate your heart. Because, if we're being honest, we've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) 

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  -Romans 3:23, 24
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.  -Ephesians 4:32 NLT
 

Let's Connect! 

Was this helpful for you today? What lessons has God brought you through in difficult situations?