Have you ever been hated for who you are, what you believe, or for doing the right thing?
What would you do if your oppressor took a year’s wages from you or confiscated your livelihood?
In a village not far from my home the chief offered sacrifices to idols. He ordered every family in the community to give him a “tax” equivalent to a day’s wages so he could purchase large quantities of an alcoholic beverage to worship one of his statues.
The Christians in the church refused to participate in his idolatrous ceremony. They told the village leader they wouldn’t give any money for it. The chief ordered the local soldiers to steal all the chickens from the members of the church. After the fowl were stolen, some of the Christians came to me and asked what they should do about this.
“What do you think you should do?” I asked.
The pastor replied. “The Bible says turn the other cheek and do good to those who hurt you and persecute you.”
These people had only been influenced by Christianity for seven years since the Jesus film was shown to them. Yet they gave this spiritual response as if they’d been following Christ for decades. Some of the other missionaries and I discussed the possibility of replacing all the stolen chickens. But the African church leaders insisted that would have caused jealously and increased hostility, and the chief would have stolen every replaced bird.
So the people did not retaliate. They prayed for their tormentors.
What happened to the oppressed?
Their church grew to be the strongest one in the area.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19
Thanks for joining me today,
Have a great week,