Father Chuck Files: Enduring Unjust and Unfair Treatment

Have you figured out that life is sometimes just plain unfair? Can you remember a time when you were treated unfairly or harshly criticized? I know that we all have felt at one time or another that no matter what you do, you can’t win. The sting of words does hurt. And then you come up against it over and over and say, “why, try? What’s the use! I give up.”

Jesus knew all too well the lessons that come from enduring foul play. Unjust and unfair treatment were his constant companions. Throughout his ministry he responded to the needs of those around him. He cured them when they were ill. He fed them when they were hungry. He reassured them when they were distraught. He even cried with them when they were in pain.

I wear my Steelers colors on a shirt sleeve. Jesus wore his heart on his sleeve. And look what it got him.

The world in which Jesus lived was a hostile place and the lessons from them apply to us today. First of all it’s tough out there in the world where you’re reading this. And as disciples, how can we carry out our lives as faithful witnesses and play fair in our changing times?

I have been telling myself lately that I don’t always have to be right. The truth of the matter is that none of us has all the truth on our side, none of us has all the rightness within us; we can still be right while those who disagree with us aren’t wrong.

As Paul Tillich once said, “Almost every person you meet is fighting a great battle within.” When we run into one who engages in foul behavior we can use Christ like patience and a sense of fair play as difficult as it sometimes is when we are confronted with conflict. Don’t walk away too quickly, sometimes being humble goes a long way. And you might even learn a lesson about yourself. Don’t get in a spraying match with a skunk, you’ll lose. In other words do not demean yourself by sinking to a lower level. Keep a sense of humor. Hope for the best. Pray for the situation. In the midst of life’s unfairness may God’s peace be with you!

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