In the last post in this series, I answered the question: What is the cause of sinful anger? Today I will look at how we are to respond when others sin against us.
How to Respond When Others Sin Against Us
When others sin against us, we can respond in one of two ways. We can:
- Get angry
- We can respond by being mindful of God
Instead of anger, we should be mindful of God. Peter gives this advice to a slave who has an unjust master.
In 1 Peter 2:18-20 he writes,
“Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.”
What does it mean to be mindful of God?
Being mindful of God means that we are to think of God’s will and His glory instead of our will and our glory. Instead of getting angry and blowing up on another, we relax, take a deep breath, and think about our Christian witness. In order to do this we have to see God’s glory as more important than our own.
Admittedly, keeping God’s glory supreme is difficult. For that reason, Jerry Bridges provides a few questions we can ask to keep ourselves mindful of God:
- How would God have me respond in this situation?
- How can I best glorify God by my response?
- Do I believe that this difficult situation or this unjust treatment is under the sovereign control of God and that in His infinite wisdom and goodness He is using these difficult circumstances to conform me more to the likeness of Christ? (see Rom. 8:28; James 1:2-4)
By being mindful of God, we can better deal with our anger when others sin against us. So the next time you are tempted to blow up on another, keep your witness and God’s glory in mind.
Question for Reflection
- Are you mindful of God when others sins against you?
- Do you have God’s glory in mind or your own pride?
- Can you think of a situation where you were mindful of God and it served as an effective witness?
In the next post in this series, I will talk about how we show our anger.
Post adapted from Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins, 121-28