The Bible is filled with stories of good people who are bullied, smeared and misunderstood. People who do the right thing, but have their lives and reputations destroyed. It’s an excellent reminder that we are not the first. In fact, it’s a common theme in life–good vs evil. This happens in all kinds of epic, beloved movies and books. There is a good person, and there is a bad person…and sometimes the bully seems to be winning…but in the end, the good person wins.
I think about this often as I watch or read some of our best-loved movies and books. For example, in Star Wars, the bad guys won for many years. The good guys had to wait it out, until finally, they found success. In the Harry Potter stories, Voldemort was able to come to power twice, and get a gang of followers who tormented the people who stood up against him…until finally, after many losses, good prevailed. In the Lord of the Rings movies, evil destroys the world and many good people…until after much loss, the good people win.
There are always scars, and winning the battle is often melancholy after all the losses people have endured, but it does happen. Real life is like this. And Bible characters endured the same trials. If you take the content explained in the youth ministry program, you can notice how many Psalms David wrote crying out for God to protect him against his enemies. So many of them refer to troubles, hardships, loss of reputation, fear, and worse. And yet he is remembered as a great man of God. Or how about Joseph? His brothers sold him into slavery, he started to get ahead in life, and he was falsely accused of rape. He went through so many awful things, only to be lifted up and given rewards for his faithfulness. Or Job? He went through the ultimate nightmare losing every single good thing in his life, except for his faith, but he came back better than ever.
We aren’t the only people who have endured horrible abuses and insults. That’s why these stories speak so strongly to us. They are part of humanity. Many people have been bullied, falsely accused, disbelieved even while telling the truth. And the moral of the story is that they always overcome, even if it takes many years.
One day as I was feeling bitter because my former abuser kept getting away with his charm and lies while I kept getting dragged through the mud, I was reading some verses and inspirational books. In so many of them, we are told that God will look out for us and make things right. Yet, I had spent the past few years using MY mouth to try to tell people what I went through so the sociopath would be held accountable. It didn’t help. People thought I was the bad guy for telling them about the real bad guy. The abuser kept getting away with his crimes and cruelty, and the smear campaign got worse. I wrote down in my notes:
Maybe things aren’t getting better because I’m trying to force them to myself. Maybe I need to keep the faith and let God take care of it.
And you know? I think that was right. I think that was a wise thought in the middle of a bunch of worries and sorrows. The more I read, and the more I trust in the idea that God will take care of things if I only stay faithful, the more I find peace…and the more I find vindication and protection. Once I shut up and stopped trying to find justice for myself, my silence and steady lifestyle allowed God to start clearing my reputation and to expose the abuser’s ongoing bad behavior. When I shut up, people started finally understanding what I’d been trying to tell them for years.
Not only am I seeing the results of my renewed faith, but I am not tired and frazzled anymore. I am no longer fighting a losing battle that no one human can fight against the evil that exists in a sociopath. Someone much stronger than me is taking care of it for me.