Have you ever had an experience like this? In the midst of a conversation the person you are talking to says something like this, “Well, I may have said something I should not have said, but have you heard what they have been saying about me?” Responding to what others are saying about us is a major problem each of us faces. We may be entirely innocent, but they simply will not stop running us down. We take it for a while, then we become fed up with their actions and simply tell them off. How does God expect us to deal with this kind of situation?
Think for a moment about what the enemies of Jesus said or insinuated about Him. They accused Him of being a glutton (Matt. 11:19). They sought to destroy Him by charging Him with hanging around the wrong people (Matt. 9:11). Some said He drank excessively (Luke 7:34). The religious leaders really had a problem with Him and said His sin was blasphemy (Matt. 26:65). When His friends heard what He was saying, they said that He was crazy (Mark 3:21). His moral character was attacked by saying He was demon possessed (John 7:20). Finally, He was accused of treason (John 19:12).
Now I’m not sure what others have said about you, but I seriously doubt that it is anything as vile as what they said about Him or what they said to Him. It certainly appears that He “turned the other cheek” to those who smote Him with words. He seemed to practice what He taught about loving your enemies, blessing those who were cursing you and doing good to those who hated you and were persecuting you (Matt. 5:44).
Peter seems to say it best about how we should respond when others are gossiping about us. “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps . . . When He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered He did no threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 1:21-23). Here’s the key, it doesn’t matter what judgment others make of us, we simply leave the matter in the hands of Him who judges righteously.
So the next time you are hurting and situations seem out of your control, think about how little control the Master had about what others were saying about Him and what He did. There is a place for wrath, but it is not in your heart! Remember who said, “Vengeance is Mine I will repay,” and remember that He will!