For I, the LORD, love justice … Isaiah 61:8 (NKJV)
When I was a child, my sense of fairness was massive. I got my share of whuppings, as children of my generation often did. Now, such things are frowned upon but back then, it was just life. On one occasion, I cried and cried, not for the corporal punishment administered but because of something my Uncle Edmund had told me.
“You’re a big girl now,” he said. “You not s’pposed to get no whuppin’!”
I was too little to recall the infraction for which I was punished. But my mother often told the story of the outcome. I sobbed, broken-heartedly, saying over and over:
“Uncle Edmund said … I wasn’t s’posed to … GET NO WHUPPIN’!” My sense of outrage over the unfairness of an act that I was told could not happen was enormous. And that perception of fair play (or how I think things should go) continues to this day, though I’ve since learned not to cry so hard about it. C’est la vie, as the song goes. That’s life.
I’ve worked at many places. Done many things. My resume is longer than a page, just put it like that. When I began one job, the new hires consisted of a bunch of folks younger than I. Though my resume was more impressive, their education beat mine. I could have been discouraged but I put my head down and went to work, determined to distinguish myself. One of the new employees was full of herself, for more than just her education’s sake. She acted entitled and assumed she would go to the head of the pack. She didn’t. The class soon found that experience beats education many times.
I found out one day that she said some harsh things about me while I was out of the office. I tend to take younger folks under my wing. I treat them as I would sons and daughters. I had done so to her, despite her catty attitude. I was surprised to find that she’d disparaged me, behind my back. Her comments regarding me had to do with my standing with the company and an allusion to my salary. When I received some sort of recognition on the job (I don’t remember which), she remarked that I wasn’t like herself and the other hires. She saw me as less than them.
Still, I didn’t address it but continued to love her and treat her as a daughter. I excused her actions because of her youth. Meanwhile, I continued to work and impress my bosses. My reputation grew while her own waned. And then I was offered a promotion. Because I hadn’t let her actions phase me, it took me a while to make the connection.
With the promotion, I became more. While she had been relegated to the ranks of mundane employees, her efforts unnoticed by management, I continued to shine. Though I wouldn’t wish anything bad on her, I couldn’t help but see the justice in the situation. I had done nothing to defend myself, but God elevated me anyway. I didn’t need to seek her out to tell her off, nor hate her because of what she said about me. As far as I was concerned, there was no rivalry. There are lots of attributes which younger people have that I cannot compete with, so I don’t even try. Here’s where I can excel – in being me. I know I have that market cornered, always. But she didn’t have my revelation of security.
To this day, she and I remain friendly. She never knew that I knew what she said. I have been her friend even when she has not been mine. Not because I’m better but because I am me. To respond to such foolishness would diminish me. But God saw. He justified me, rewarded me, and avenged me without me having to lift a finger. We can trust God to do that. He loves justice. And He will get it for you.