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It is impossible to go through life without experiencing some insults, indignities and offenses. Some are worse than others, and no one goes through life unscathed.  The question is, “When we, or one of our loved ones, are hurt, who should fight the battle?”

It has taken a great deal of life experience for me to realize that when I try to fight my own battles, the result is never good. I’ve learned over the years that I need to step back and let God fight my battles.  When I do so, not only does He make things right, but I typically come out better than before.

In the 23rd Psalm, we are reminded that God is our vindicator.

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalm 23:5

When I let God handle my battles, that verse reflects what happens to me. Time and again, God sets things right when I let an offense go.  I don’t have to do anything other than keep trying to live my life according to His will.

I’ll give a simple example. One day I overheard someone say something unkind about my daughter.  It was a minor remark, but nevertheless, I was ready to lose my temper.  Then I said to myself, “Hang on.  Let God be her vindicator.”  The next day she competed in an academic competition and won in her division.  I knew that God had placed a special blessing on her that day.  He symbolically had prepared a table for her in the presence of her enemies.

I have countless examples of where God has fought my battles for me when I have had the wisdom to stand back and allow Him to do so. In each instance, God has created a better result than I could have.  Now it may not have been on my timetable, but in His time, He brings about the best outcomes.

It is important to remember that it isn’t our job to set other people straight. Yes, if you are a parent, you have to correct your children so you can send civilized individuals out into the world.  However, aside from our children, it isn’t our job to correct other people when they aren’t doing the right thing.  In fact, many of us waste a lot of energy trying to get everyone else to act properly.  But that is God’s job, not ours.  Our job is to focus on our own behavior, which is enough work anyway!

Significantly, when we ask God to fight our battles, we aren’t asking that locusts and famine befall our enemies (well, perhaps some of us are). That is pointless.  Having bad things happen to other people doesn’t erase the offense that we’ve endured.  There is a very apt quote from Frank Sinatra:  “The best revenge is massive success.”  While I’m not a proponent of taking “revenge” on people, the sentiment is a good one.  We don’t want to hurt the people who have hurt us.  Instead, we want to regain our confidence by asking God to bless us with success or something else that is positive.

Now I realize that there are some circumstances that we can’t ignore. We can’t always step back and do nothing.  If we know that someone is being hurt or abused, we can’t turn a blind eye.  If we ourselves are being hurt or abused, we likewise have to act.  And in those situations we have to act swiftly and with conviction.  But hopefully when we act, it is with the wisdom and guidance of God.

It takes a great deal of faith to let go of offenses and let God handle the difficult matters in our lives. However, that is what we are called to do.  As stated in 1 Peter,

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:6-7

So the next time that you are offended, step back and ask God to fight your battle. It is so much easier to let go of an offense when we don’t have to worry about making things right.  Then we can go back to living the peaceful, joyful life that God intended for us to live.

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