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Hope Beyond Unfairness: Pressing On Even Though Ripped Off, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
June 8, 2023 7:05 am

Hope Beyond Unfairness: Pressing On Even Though Ripped Off, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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June 8, 2023 7:05 am

Hope Again: When Life Hurts and Dreams Fade

Grace To You
John MacArthur
Grace To You
John MacArthur
Love Worth Finding
Adrian Rogers

When someone takes advantage of us, it's easy to become rankled, if not outright offended. We're prone to declare our rights, to get even. That's especially true when someone violates our trust and assumes an advantage, or when the breach involves money. Today, on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll reminds us that unfairness has plagued humankind from the beginning.

He's teaching from 1 Peter, where the apostle invites us to elevate our response. Chuck titled today's message, Hope Beyond Unfairness, pressing on, even though ripped off. Ever dropped $8, maybe $10 on a movie that made last summer's home video of your family vacation look like The Sound of Music? Who hasn't been hoodwinked by a smooth-talking salesman in a striped suit with styled hair and patent leather shoes? And, by the way, who hasn't been burned by a glitzy ad campaign that promised a lot more than it delivered?

You see, ripoffs like these are relatively often and easy to recover from. What's a lot more difficult to endure is when the suffering gets more personal. For example, when someone slanders your reputation, or gossips about you behind your back, or maybe pulls the economic rug out from under you, or even worse than all of that, threatens your life. If you've ever been treated like that, you're in good company. That may surprise you to hear that.

Well, you'll find out today what good company you're in. However, pressed between the pages of 1 Peter is a rose-like reminder that fragrantly informs all of us how to keep going on, even when we've been ripped off. And I should tell you ahead of time, it isn't the normal way of the world system. You'll realize that as we read the Scriptures today and as you hear this message. First off, turn with me to 1 Peter chapter 2, and let me read for you verses 13 through 25.

Once again, it's 1 Peter 2, beginning at verse 13. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king, as the one in authority, or to governors, as sent by him, for the punishment of evildoers, and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people.

Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor if, for the sake of conscience toward God, a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if, when you do what is right and suffer for it, you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.

I want to read that verse again. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if, 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 for you 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, but kept entrusting himself to him who judges righteously. And he himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. For by his wounds you were healed, for you were continually straying like sheep. But now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. You're listening to Insight for Living.

To dig deeper into 1 Peter with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to slash studies. And now let's resume the message that Chuck titled Hope Beyond Unfairness. Who hasn't been burned? Hardly a week of my life passes without someone telling me of their being taken advantage of or victimized or someone they know having gone through the difficulty of what we call today being ripped off.

Sometime it is from some scam that one is caught in inadvertently. And with good faith begins a project that looks right and best, but it blows up in his face. It's hard enough in life to deal with all the contingencies that hit us and to deal with the wrongs that we have committed and the consequences that follow. But it is at times the next thing too unbearable to go through occasions when we do not deserve the treatment we get but it comes to us in full force. It occurred to me while thinking about these thoughts from Peter's letter that the Bible does not ignore the problem of being victimized.

Think with me of some examples. David, who had done nothing more than kill a giant, became popular among the people and without asking for it became the object of King Saul's rage. He had done only good to Saul.

He had done what Saul was unwilling to do. He had fought Goliath and won. And simply by winning he became a popular man in the nation and people sang their praises to David. Saul has slain his thousands but David his 10,000. And that one popular song caused Saul to turn into a maddening, revengeful rage against young David.

And if I figure correctly somewhere between 10 and 14 years, you hear that? For more than a decade David ran for his life while Saul was seeking to kill him. Didn't deserve it but it happened. Another one that comes to my mind is Joseph. He didn't ask to be his father's favorite. Jacob made the mistake of showing favoritism to his youngest son Joseph. And the brothers in a moment of absolute hatred for the boy sold him to a caravan on its way to Egypt, lied to their dad, left Joseph in that unbearable setting of another culture, another language, forgotten, rejected, and for all they knew never to be seen again by the family.

And Joseph finally turned the corner and through a series of wonderful events recorded in the last part of Genesis, came to the place where he could show his brothers full forgiveness and he did much to their amazement. Joseph was ripped off by his brothers. Jacob himself had chiseled Esau out of his birthright.

Now there's another example. Esau was hungry having been hunting through the day and in a rash and irresponsible moment, admittedly, he turned over his birthright and all the blessings pertaining to the oldest child to Jacob his brother. And Jacob took advantage of his brother in a hungry moment.

And they lived at odds against one another for years because of that. How about Job? Job, according to the Scriptures, had done nothing overtly wrong. But the Sabeans and the Chaldeans attacked the homestead and not only destroyed the buildings and killed the servants, Job even lost all ten of his children. Think of that.

Ten fresh graves. And you could not state a cause against Job had you lived in his day. Now some of you could tell your own horror stories, I realize that. As a matter of fact, I don't believe there is anybody listening to me right now who doesn't have a story of having been taken advantage of. Every one of us can tell at least one account of somebody who took unfair advantage of us. They ripped us off. And we look back on it with a mixture of, well, a number of reactions.

In fact, let me get into that right now. There are three, as I think about this business of being ripped off, being done wrong, there are three very common reactions. First is what I will call an aggressive pattern. The aggressive pattern, which says, I don't just get mad.

I'm going to get even. And the aggression grows from simple anger all the way to rage. It starts with resentment. It builds toward plans for revenge.

Incredible amount of hostility grows within us and ultimately leaves us bitter and determined to get back at every person who has done that to us or played a role in it. Maybe you heard about the fellow who was told by his physician, yes indeed, you do have rabies. And the man immediately pulled out a pad and pencil and began to write. And the doctor thought, my goodness, he's writing his will. He said, listen, it doesn't mean you're going to die.

He says, I know that. I'm making a list of people I'm going to bite. You tend to do that when you have a chance to get back. You don't hesitate to make your list. Some of you are making lists right now in your mind of people you're going to bite. The very next chance you get, you're going to bite.

Some of you are already engaged in doing it. Subtle ways, which I'll not even go into. The second pattern is not the pattern of showing blame and aggressiveness. It's the opposite. It's the passivity pattern.

The passive pattern. And that turns into feeling sorry for yourself. You've been ripped off. Life, you say, hasn't been fair. You sometimes call it fate. Fate has not been fair to me. And so you live your life with the shades drawn. Oh, you go out to buy gas and to buy groceries and to pick up the cleaning and to do some of the essential necessities of life, but virtually you're not going to be vulnerable to anybody ever again.

You're just passively holding back. There's a lot of anger in that as well. One of my all-time favorite stories is about the fellows who were in the Korean War and they had a houseboy that they hired to take care of their things. And, you know, they took advantage of him. They'd put Vaseline on the stove so that when he'd go to turn the stove on in the morning, he'd get grease all over his fingers. And they'd put little water buckets over the door. When he'd push the door open, water would fall on him. They'd nail his shoes to the floor and he'd get up in the morning and put his feet in time and couldn't move.

And finally it just grew to where one of them just couldn't live with the guilt of what they were doing. And Christmas time they called him and they said, look, we're sorry, we're never going to do that again. They said to their cook and their houseboy, we're never going to take advantage of you again. Oh, no more sticky on stove. Nope, no more sticky on stove. No more water on door. No more water. No more nail shoes to the floor. No.

Okay. No more spit in soup. You know, in a passive mode, you can just spit in the soup.

Can't you just see him fixing chili one night? The third reaction is a holding pattern, I call it. There's an aggressive pattern, there's a passive pattern, there's a holding pattern, and that's to postpone one's feelings or to deny one's feelings, to literally say to oneself, it doesn't bother me. And all the while it's eating away like an acid deep within us. That leads to doubt and disillusionment. That weakens the fiber inside our lives. You will not find in Peter's wonderful letter as he addresses this subject any of those three reactions, though they are all very common.

Aggressive is the most common, passive is next. The holding pattern is going on right now in many lives. You're waiting for the moment.

You're just biding your time. Peter writes in the last part of his second chapter words of great wisdom and wise counsel. And you will be, if you're not familiar with this section, you will be absolutely amazed because you will not hear the counsel you're going to hear from God's Word from most counselors today, from most preachers today, and certainly from most friends. You would ask about your situation. It is all wrapped up in one word, chapter 2, verse 13, submit.

Just letting that word come out of your mouth kind of creates feelings. Here were Christians scattered all over the country. They are named for us in the first verse of chapter 1.

Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia, five different regions. They're away from home. They have been blasted out of their houses. Unfair persecution has come from an absolutely insane ruler named Nero. The bodies of their friends have lit the colosseum in Rome, and it will happen again and again and again.

Lives have been slaughtered and will continue to be. It's fitting that Peter addresses unfair treatment. These believers were the target of mistreatment by government, by neighbors, people notorious for cruelty had the faces of Christians on their dartboard.

And Peter writes to these people, and he has the audacity to say, submit. Nowhere in scripture is anarchy promoted. Nowhere in scripture is insurrection against the government promoted.

Now before you write me and remind me of Acts, I'm talking about an insurrection against the government as a whole, overthrowing whole governments. Yes, as we will see, there are times when one must stand his or her ground as a Christian. There are times you must stand firm and disobey a law that is beneath the law of God. But interestingly, Peter in no section here or anywhere in scripture encourages the overthrow of the Roman government. On the contrary, Jesus said, render to Caesar what Caesar has coming due. Render to God what God has coming due.

Interesting the order, isn't it? Paul exhorts us to pray for those who are in authority over us. And he wrote that when there were emperors on the throne who despised the name of Christ. He said, pray for those in authority over you, for kings, for all who are in authority. 1 Peter chapter 2, 1 Timothy chapter 2.

And Peter says, as we're going to develop the thought, submit. You have a pencil, circle the word in verse 13, which is the command. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to, and then he describes what? In chapter 2 verse 18, again, circle the word, be submissive, same root word as submit in verse 13. In chapter 3 verse 1, the husband's favorite verse, in the same way, wives, be submissive, circle that to your husbands. Chapter 3 verse 5, in this way, in former times, holy women also who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, being submissive. There's the word again.

He's on to it. He stays on it even through verse 22, the end of chapter 3, speaking of the Lord Jesus, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven after angels and authorities and powers had been, there's the same word, subjected to him, same root word, submit. Hupo taso. Taso, the root of it means to appoint, to order, or to arrange something. The little prefix hupo means under. It means to arrange oneself under the authority of another.

Clearly, it's a good translation, submit. To be subject to. To subordinate oneself to.

Now, that's the root of it. You can't make it say anything else and no amount of semantic or psychological footwork will get you away from the command to submit. And I'm convinced in my heart that if we were good students of submission, we would get along a lot better in life.

That it is the one thing that works against our nature. I don't want to submit. I don't want to give in.

I won't let him have his way in this. And so we live abrasively. Now, let's unravel this knot, because some of you are churning. I can feel it. You're churning with me already.

You're thinking, if you only knew what... Okay, don't bother. Look at verse 13 again, chapter 2. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake, not for your enemy's sake, for the Lord's sake, to every human institution.

Remember, Nero's the king, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by the king for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. You're listening to Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll is midway through a message he titled Hope Beyond Unfairness, Pressing On Even Though Ripped Off. Please keep listening, because there's much more to learn from this passage in 1 Peter chapter 2.

To learn more about this ministry, visit us online at Well, we know that sometimes your best learning happens apart from this daily program. To dig deeper on your own, I want to remind you that Chuck wrote a helpful book on this topic, and there's a complete section on this matter of overcoming unfairness. His book is called Hope Again, When Life Hurts and Dreams Fade.

You know, when someone has ripped you off, it requires intentional effort to press on. When someone has broken your trust, God wants to come alongside you and guide you toward recovery. We believe this 17-chapter book, squarely founded on the wisdom of 1 Peter, will help you. To purchase a copy of Hope Again, go to slash offer, or call us. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Bear in mind that your gift to Insight for Living, large or small, will be directly applied toward providing Chuck's teaching on your station, and to countless others who listen beyond our borders. I saw a note that said, Chuck, I started listening to your radio broadcast when I was in high school via FEBC in the Philippines. Your teachings and sermons helped me grow spiritually as a new believer and led me to serve God through local missions and later overseas in a restricted country. Isn't that encouraging? Since our first broadcast in 1979, God has magnified the reach of this ministry through generous people like you.

Here's Chuck. I'm going to get a little personal here. Think back a few hours ago when you rolled out of your bed. Your feet hit the floor, and you stumbled in front of that mirror. Be honest now.

What did you see? Okay, let me guess. Let me guess. It wasn't the face of an evangelist. It wasn't Peter. It wasn't Mary Magdalene or the Apostle John. My guess is that you saw the rumpled version of you just out of bed.

I'll tell you, that's what Swindoll saw this morning. But here's the point. None of us wakes up feeling like an evangelist. Truth be told, few of us ever feel like an evangelist.

But even so, no Christian gets a pass on the Great Commission. Jesus delivered not a suggestion, but a direct command to every believer to go and make disciples of all the nations. So let me give you a simple way to exercise this privilege. As your radio pastor and friend, I'm inviting you to join me in this rewarding responsibility to go and make disciples. When you give your donation to Insight for Living Ministries, you are helping fulfill your Christian duty. Your financial gift is directly applied to telling others about Jesus and teaching new believers to study and to apply God's Word. And the doors are wide open to reach more people than ever before. Next time you look at your reflection in the mirror, take a moment to thank God for choosing you to be an ambassador for Him. Your simple gesture of generosity right now will make an eternal difference for someone who needs to hear the good news.

So please, be very generous. And here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll. If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Again, that's 800-772-8888. Or you can give online at Thank you so much for your generous support. I'm Bill Meyer. Join us next time when Chuck Swindoll continues his message called Hope Beyond Unfairness on Insight for Living. Copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-07 14:22:13 / 2023-06-07 14:31:05 / 9

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