Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Those Who Choose to Undermine
2 Timothy 4:14-15
Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds. You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.
No one is immune from those who will harm you. Alexander seems to have intentionally undermined the ministry by what he had done. The sad part is that at one point and time he had been a part of the church but had then taken it upon himself to attack the doctrine and created a great deal of trouble. Considering his occupation he was probably not very well educated and so we can imagine the great gusto with which he may have attacked the church, thinking he knew what he was talking about, but in fact becoming terribly destructive.
Sadly many people were hurt and probably walked away from their faith in God as a result. The concern here in terms of harm was not the personal struggle or damage to one's own reputation but the fact that people were being led astray.
The message is clear. We are not to personally retaliate, but we are to allow God to judge according to the person's own actions or deeds. At the same time we are not to be ignorant of the damage these types of individuals may be able to do and so we must be wise and beware to give them space to continue to do harm within the church.
Most of us will experience people in life who may not like us or who may try to make what we do difficult. It's not our job to get back at them. There is a graciousness which must come from growing in our walk with the Lord.
At the same time we are not to be ignorant. When there are those who are harming others, we need to think and pray about a wise response. We cannot allow individuals to come into the center of our fellowship and absolutely decimate the faith, especially of new believers.
It would appear that trying to talk to this individual and trying to help him understand his misunderstanding of doctrine didn't help matters and that will often be the case. There will always be some who will not be willing to hear or learn and will be dogmatic about what they believe to be true. At the same time they may damage your personal reputation but that is not the greatest danger. Let them hurt our reputation, only let us beware and protect those whom that they may lead astray. Love and pray for those who choose to undermine you, and let God take care of paying them back.
Lord, please help us to pray for and love those whom we encounter that may oppose us. Amen.