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Anyone stolen anything from you …
Most of us have had situations where someone took something from us. It could have been money, opportunity, respect, a job, a relationship, or recognition for something we did. It can be most anything that should have been ours that someone else appropriated, hijacked, or took for their own without the right to do so.
Today’s Scripture passage speaks of this. It begins with, “A fortune made by a lying tongue …” To acquire this ill-gotten fortune, something was stolen from someone, somewhere, in some way. Today, rather than focusing on what was stolen, we will focus on from whom it was stolen. Assuming that is us, I want to talk for a bit about our response when someone steals from us.
Last year, members of Karen’s family stole her parents’ inheritance. All of it. These people maneuvered, misappropriated, deceived, and misdirected literally everything, completely disregarding and disrespecting her parents and their wishes. It even crossed the line into alleged criminal activity.
It has been a very significant challenge for us on many fronts, not the least of which is in our response to them and about them in our hearts and to God. What I write in today’s prayer is what we lived: “… help me keep my integrity and do what is right–even in my response to them.”
You can probably imagine the emotions with which we struggled. Equally difficult were the ugly accusations, justifications, and slanders with which these people attempted to cover their actions, divert attention, or blame others for what they did. There were threats of physical violence, lies on a grand scale, betrayals, and much more. It was a BAD situation.
It does not matter how bad it was or continues to be. It does not matter what they took or what damage they did or continue to do. Our response had to (and HAS to) be in agreement with God. No exceptions. Feelings are irrelevant.
This does not mean that we smile and restore the relationships like nothing happened. I will not say this will never happen, but it is not possible at this point because they unrepentantly continue their bad behavior to justify their actions or misdirect attention from them.
It DOES mean that Karen and I (and other family members affected) must not harbor judgment and must trust God to make it right–whatever that means and whatever it will look like. We must also be careful not to create an expectation of what that will (or could) look like.
If you have been stolen from or treated unjustly, your responsibility is not to get even but to get right with God in your attitudes and responses. The hard truth is that you do not even have a true right to harbor a grudge (unforgiveness). Whatever they stole, regardless of how valuable, is not as valuable and important as your integrity in your relationship with God. This is what is truly at stake for you.
Though never easy, this is what you must do. And, perhaps more difficult yet to accept, feelings have nothing to do with your response. In the final analysis, it is truly only about you and your relationship with God.
Today’s Seed™ Scripture and Prayer for Apr. 13, 2023:
A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare. The violence of the wicked will drag them away, for they refuse to do what is right. The way of the guilty is devious, but the conduct of the innocent is upright. (Prov 21:6-8 NIV)
Prayer: LORD, when others are dishonest, help me keep my integrity and do what is right–even in my response to them. Though no one else may ever know, You will. Even if I lose relationships or opportunities, I choose to keep my relationship and integrity with You intact. This is more important than anyone or anything, anywhere or anyhow. Help me hold to this commitment regardless of circumstances. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
(c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved • http://www.e-min.org
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‘Today’s Seed’ from E-MIN • Apr. 13, 2023
About Randall Vaughn:
With 40+ years as pastor, author, teacher, worship leader, and songwriter, Randall pioneered E-MIN in 1997–one of the earliest online ministries and today the longest operating. His passion is leading people to deeper, genuine relationship with God. He lives in Alabama with his lovely wife, Karen, and their dogs, Hadi and Rayah. He enjoys hiking, exploring new tech, and “prayer walks”.
Copyright (c) 2023 Randall Vaughn • All Rights Reserved.
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2 thoughts on ““Today’s Seed” from E-MIN Apr. 14, 2023”
I can see why that devil behind the technology didnt want this published! Healing and wholeness for you all! Amen.
My post would not go through. Going through similar situation now. God sent this message through you to me. I have prayed for my relationship with God to stay strong and know God will deal with the person in his way and time.