973. Setting the Record Straight

Food for thought for the next time you are wronged and want to set the record straight

IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING

Shortly after I was saved, I was the architect for my church’s remodeling program. I worked for well over a year getting the redesign perfected and acquiring all the required permits. A church-wide celebration was planned during which the plans were to be revealed. I was very excited to get things going after all the sweat and hours I had devoted to it.

The excitement didn’t last long. The sketches and written explanation presented to the church had nothing to do with what I had prepared. I soon learned that a doctor in the church had presented a plan of his own and had offered to donate $100,000 to the program if they scrapped my plans and adopted his. His father was an architect, and it appeared that he thought he had inherited his father’s abilities by osmosis.

I learned that the night before, the doctor had secretly met with the building committee and had convinced the members that his offer would save them a lot of money. They simply had to convince the church that there was a major problem with what I had proposed.

That is exactly what happened. A story (which I never saw) was circulated, and I was blamed for the last-minute switch. (And we wonder why new believers or seekers get turned off by “Christianity.”) Needless to say, I never stepped foot in that church again. I prepared a letter explaining what really happened, and sent one to every member of the church. I had to set the record straight.

AS I SEE IT

Over the years, I have tried to bury this painful episode, and I haven’t thought about it for a long time…until I recently came face to face with a passage from 1 Peter 2 that gave me a new perspective on that painful ordeal.:

For what credit is there if when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in his mouth; and while being reviled, he did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, and kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously…(1 Peter 2:20-23).

At the time, my response to “set the record straight” seemed necessary and appropriate. I was young in the faith and had a lot to learn about what God expects from me. Thirty-five years later, I have a different perspective. Back then, I wasn’t ready to do what Jesus did. My flesh was still very much alive. I wasn’t prepared to entrust the matter to God, letting Him deal with it.

I didn’t know how much it would mean to my Lord if I would be willing to follow His example. My “suffering” couldn’t compare to His. Neither could my “innocence” in the matter. Yet, He did nothing to retaliate. He took His case to His Father, who would “set the record straight” His way, resulting in a far greater and eternally consequential outcome.

I hope you’ll remember this the next time you have been wronged. Take great care in how you try to “set the record straight.”

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