When You've Been Treated Unfairly | Ashley Varner

When You’ve Been Treated Unfairly

We’ve all be treated unfairly at one time or another. How do we handle unfairness God’s way? How do we seek justice when we’ve been treated unfairly? God’s Word shows us how!

Resources Mentioned:

Free power of prayer workbook: https://ashleyvarner.com/prayer
Thrive Bible Study Vault: https://ashleyvarner.com/thrive
Renew180 Program: https://ashleyvarner.com/mastermind

Highlights From the Episode:

We’ve all been treated unfairly at one time or another. So, how do we handle unfairness God’s way? How do we seek justice when we’ve been treated unfairly? Well, God’s word shows us how and that’s what we’re gonna be talking about in today’s video. Let’s get started.

Hey there, my sweet friends, and welcome back to “The Renewed Mind.” I am your host as always Ashley Varner and we are continuing our series this month on negative emotions and dealing with, struggling with those hard to deal with emotions. So, if you haven’t already, make sure to check out the previous videos in this series, we’ve talked about overcoming the pain of rejection, we have talked about bitterness and unforgiveness. Last week, we talked about struggling with anxiety, whenever you’re a Christian. And today I wanna talk to you about when you’ve been treated unfairly.

So, this is something that kind of piggybacks a little bit onto bitterness and unforgiveness, but I wanna talk to you a little bit today, about injustice and dealing with injustice in this life, because we are all going to be kind of subject to injustices happening in this world. And this is something that seems to come up a lot for my clients in Renew 180, because there’s just a lot of pain that comes from this and a lot of negative emotion that comes from this. And so each week we’ve been discussing a life of someone in the Bible.

As I was looking through God’s word, about this topic of being treated unfairly, a story kept coming up over and over in my mind and that is the story of David and Saul. So, King Saul was the first king of Israel and he was anointed by God. At a time he began not really serving the Lord in the way that he was supposed to, he was disobedient and God now chose someone else, David to become the new king. So, now David was anointed, but Saul was still the king. David was serving in his army. He was actually serving in his palace and there were some things that Saul didn’t like about David. He didn’t like that David was getting a lot of influence and notoriety in the kingdom.

There were songs being sang, about Saul slaying his thousands, and David’s slaying his 10 thousands. There was a lot of things that came up that really had to do with a lot of jealousy on Saul’s part. So, he began treating David very unfairly. And as I was reading through David’s story, some things just came up that I wanted to share with you guys. There’s about three topics that I want to discuss, three bullet points if you will in our video today.

Justice Matters to God

So, the first is justice matters to God. So, Saul acted very unjustly to David. He allowed his own jealousy and pride to push David out. He lied to him. He tried to manipulate him. He even tried to kill him. The Bible says that he threw his spear at him multiple times and what I want you to see and I think what David eventually saw is that God sees the injustice.

Injustice really matters a lot to God and He will deal with it in His timing. So, whenever you are dealing with being treated unfairly, there are a couple of ways that you can respond. But the biggest thing that I want you to remember is no matter how you respond, it needs to begin with the thought.

In a lot of my teaching and my private coaching and in the coaching program, what I teach is that your thoughts create your emotions and then those emotions are what drive your actions. And so if you can see your circumstance, is there and it is important, it’s the way that your thoughts interpret that circumstance that kind of starts the domino effect.

So, if you really want to change your actions and your emotions about being treated unfairly, it has to start with changing your thinking. And the thought that you can start having is, God sees the injustice and I can trust Him to deal with it in His timing.

Be Okay with People Being Wrong About You

So, one thing that this does for you, whenever you start thinking that way is that once you are being treated unfairly, you have to get to the point where you are okay with people being wrong about you. Now, this is a hard pill to swallow, because whenever you’ve been treated unfairly, it can feel very unjust to you, right? It feels very unfair.

People will say things or think things about you that are completely untrue. This is something that happens to all of us, right? We can all think back into our lives and to our past and see instances where people have mistreated us or thought things about us or even said things about us that were completely untrue. Giving justice to God means that we have to be okay with letting people be wrong about us.

This is something that I think Jesus really portrays very well. And he had people that were falsely accusing Him, people who were saying things about Him saying, “Well, if you were just, “if you were really the son of God “then call down angels” or “come down off that cross” or whatever they would say to Him. He knew that they were wrong about Him, but He had to be okay with letting them be wrong about Him and giving that justice to God.

God promises that His grace is sufficient for every affliction that we’re gonna go through. And so if you are in a place where you’re being treated unfairly, I want you to know that God sees it and it matters to Him, but also God gives you grace to make it through that affliction.

Even though David was the innocent party in this, he was the one that had to leave, right? He was the one that had to leave and be on the run. He was forced to go on the run, but it was during that time when he became the man and the leader that Israel ultimately was gonna need.

So, I think it’s really interesting that during this time, many, many Psalms that we go to, were written by David during this time of him running from Saul. And as you’re reading through the scriptures, as you’re reading through Psalms, you can see at the beginning of a Psalm, it’ll say written by David when he was running from Saul or written by David when he was in the wilderness or whatever it is. It tells you where he was, whenever he was writing certain Psalms. And I think that part of the reason, why God allows things like this to happen, it’s not that he causes them, but he allows them to happen, because they start to create characteristics in us that grow us and mature us.

I talked about this a couple of weeks ago that sometimes it’s the hard emotions that mature us more as Christians, then the easy stuff. So, if everything is going right and everything feels easy, there’s not really any place for growth, right? There’s not really a time for us to grow, whenever everything’s easy. We can grow, it’s not like it’s impossible, but whenever there are hard times and it forces us to lean on the Lord. It forces us to grow even when it’s uncomfortable.

And so what I want you to see is that David was able to use that time of being pushed away from his home, pushed away from his family, the palace where he had kind of been not raised, but he had been there since he defeated Goliath, right? He had to leave his friends, Jonathan, his best friend. He had to leave his position. And he was on the run because of unfairness, right? Because he was being treated unfairly. So remember that, even if you are in a season of that, God can still use that. God can still take that time and grow you into the person that he wants you to be. So, we see that justice matters to God.

Avoid Revenge and Trash Talk at All Costs

And one thing about this and the next point that I wanted to make is that because justice belongs to God, it is so important that we don’t try and take justice into our own hands. So I want you, even though it’s so hard, I want you to avoid revenge and trash talk at all costs.

So, whenever we’re treated unfairly, sometimes we want to get people on our side, by telling them all the ways that we’ve been treated unfairly. We want to just kind of bring it to light or maybe just throw it out there on social media or whatever it is. And I want to encourage you to avoid that at all costs.

Now, I read a book called, “When You’ve Been Wronged” and it’s by Erwin Lutzer. And there’s a quote in there that I wanted to share with you. He says, “When I take revenge to my hands, “I’m doing God’s work for Him. “I cannot trust God to do what needs to be done, “so I will do it.” He says, this is the kind of mentality that comes in whenever we’re looking for revenge or we’re looking for vengeance, whenever we’re looking to take justice or take that, try kind of force fairness into our lives, because we’re not trusting God to do it in his way.

So, we feel like we have to do it. There are always going to be one or two people that you can confide in. But other than that, spreading the word about a situation, really isn’t in your best interest. I found this to be true in my own life. I definitely have people in my life that are close to me that I share things with and confide things in. But ultimately, whenever you are struggling with unfairness or maybe injustice, it’s not something that you need to be spreading all around.

And it is important to remember too that God’s word says to do exactly the opposite of revenge. It says to, whenever others bless you to, or whenever other people curse you to bless them.

Now, there was a story actually in Erwin Lutzer’s book, about a missionary in Europe who received a really angry letter. And the man in the letter was saying, “I curse you. “I cursed your wife. “I cursed your family. “I cursed your car.” Even he said, he just was listing off all these curses, onto this missionary. And the missionary’s response to that, was a letter of his own to respond to that. And every single thing that that man had tried to curse, he blessed. So he said, “I bless you. “I bless your wife. “I bless your family.” Even to the point of blessing his car, right? That is what the Bible says to do, right? It says, bless those who curse you.

And so if you are in a place, where you really feel like you’re being cursed and you really feel like there’s just all this unfairness that’s happening, remember that God’s word says to do exactly the opposite. It says to bless those who curse you, to forgive those who do wrong to you.

Seek to Forgive

And that brings me to my last point, which is to seek to forgive. Bitterness, we talked about this a couple weeks ago, but bitterness when it takes root in your life, it is going to show up in every area of your life. And so I wanted to just end this video talking, about a couple myths of forgiveness that sometimes stop us from forgiving.

Myth: To forgive would trivialize the offense.

The first is this myth that if you forgive, then it trivializes the offense. Well, if I forgive, then it means that what they did to me, isn’t really that bad. It means that it wasn’t that important and nothing could be further from the truth. Think about the most horrible things that were done to Christ, the whippings, the mocking, crucifying Him and He chose to forgive.

Saul and David in this situation, there was a time whenever David wanted to take revenge, it says that he could have killed Saul. There was a cave that Saul was in and David went and cut a piece of Saul’s robe off. He was that close to him. And he felt such conviction about that, that he apologized and was able to even just forgive I believe, because through all of his Psalms that he’s written, it talks about forgiveness. It talks about God’s forgiveness.

And I believe that just because we forgive, it doesn’t trivialize what has happened. It just takes us, it really takes that burden off of us, right?

Myth: Forgiving let’s them off the hook.

Another myth about forgiveness is that if you forgive, then it lets them off the hook. If you forgive someone, then they don’t have to really face the consequences for what they’ve done.

Now, we’ve all heard of those stories of victims’ families who forgive the people who have maybe killed their family member or hurt their family member. And they come up during the testimony or the trial, the sentencing and they say that they forgive the person. Does that mean that the person doesn’t have to go to jail or doesn’t have to face consequences? Of course they do. But what it does, what forgiveness does is it lets you off the hook. It takes you, it takes all this pain and these burdens that you’ve been hanging onto and holding onto and it lets you take those off. It’s it kind of cuts that tie that you have with the person that hurt you or offended you or treated you unfairly.

So, if you consider it this way, if you don’t forgive you’re tied to that person forever. If you forgive, you’re letting yourself off the hook and you’re letting God deal with the consequences that He feels is right for that person.

Myth: God can’t use injustice.

The last myth is that God can’t use injustice. So, we think if there’s injustice in our world or in our lives then it can’t be used, but it can. When you allow God to turn whatever offense that’s been done to you, whatever unfairness that, any unfair way that you’ve been treated.

When you give that to God, you let him turn that offense, into a stepping stone for growth. You are saying, “God, I can overcome this with your help “and allow you to take me to new heights “in my understanding of you, “my knowledge of you, my love of you. “And I can do that through this injustice “that’s been happening to me.”

A lot of David Psalms, like I mentioned were written when he was being treated unfairly and a lot of scholars and Bible teachers believe that it was during this time in the wilderness that God really took any kind of pride that was in David out of his life.

So, we know that David was not without his faults. We know that he did a lot of not right things, right? He was not perfect of course, but one big stark difference between King Saul and King David is that King Saul had a lot of pride. And whenever he, like his sin was brought to him, his response was excuses.

His response was that he was trying to do the right thing or whatever. Sometimes he didn’t even have a response. He just did whatever he felt was right. But David’s response was humility and repentance. And a lot of scholars believe that it was doing this time in the wilderness that God was able to work in David’s life to create in him more of the person that Israel needed.

And in the book that I mentioned by Erwin Lutzer, one thing that he says about David is that during that time in the wilderness, God actually took Saul out of David. God took all of those tendencies that David might have had to be prideful and to be like Saul, he took all that out of him to fill him with humility. And that’s something that I want, I know in my life. And so realize that God can use your struggles to grow you in Him. And it might not seem like it feels very good, right?

I know whenever you’ve been treated unfairly, whenever you feel like there’s just injustice, that’s happening, I get it. I understand, it hurts. And it’s hard to see how God can use that and how God can redeem that, but he can. If you look in God’s word, you can see plenty of times whenever he’s used injustice to carry out his plan and the story of David and Saul is a perfect one which is why I chose it for this video.

I hope that you guys enjoyed this. Remember that whenever you are being treated unfairly, remember that justice matters to God. Remember that he will take care of it in his timing and we can choose to forgive no matter what. It’s always a choice for us. All right, I hope that you guys enjoyed this video. Make to subscribe, so that you are notified every Thursday when a video comes up. Next week we are going to end our series on uncomfortable emotions. And I’m really excited to share next week’s video with you. It is all about, how to know if you’re avoiding God’s call on your life. So, make sure to tune in for that video. And I will see you guys next time, have a great week.

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- Ashley Varner

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