Today’s Bible Study held a difficult passage, and we did not finish that passage: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the πονηρου [degenerate|calamitous|diseased|culpable|derelict|vicious|malicious|etc.]” where πονηρου is an adjective with the meanings that follow in brackets. I did not include them all, but I think you get the idea.
It hits me particularly hard because no one has ever taken the time to show me what I am to do when a congregation—leaders included, and in its entirety—has been sinning against you and, refusing to acknowledge and repent of their sin, insistently heaps the blame back on you. When you are the victim—and not, as slandered, the perpetrator—and confrontation has no hold, how is one to find peace, and joy, and victory? What is one to do? Have I not suffered long enough, Lord? Truly.
Largely, I held my tongue, waiting for the Guiding Light of the Holy Spirit to intervene with illumination, conviction, wisdom, and grace; and for me, finally, after all these years of suffering their wounds in me, peace with God. I am not the Sovereign One, so I cannot bear their cross, nor would it be right for me to try, as that is not my place, but Thine alone. Amen!