January 4

Troublemakers

The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads.
PSALM 7:16

Troublemakers tend to self-destruct. There’s no need to get worked up over their acts of deception. They’re dishonest. They lie when the truth will suffice. The harm they intend to inflict on others comes back to hurt them. Troublemakers attempt to discredit those they’re jealous of and in the process discredit themselves. Troublemakers conceive elaborate plans with evil intent. It’s all about them and their agenda. They can easily tell you one thing and do another. In their mind the desired outcome justifies the polluted process.
Beware of troublemakers, but don’t urge them on with too much attention. Keep an eye on them, but don’t be consumed by them. Stand up to them in the right spirit without crushing their spirit. They’re totally insecure and fearful but afraid to admit their insecurities. Because their acceptance is based on performance, they’re always looking for ways to impress others.
It’s not what we do that keeps us secure; it’s who we are and whose we are. In Christ we have all we need.

“As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it” (Job 4:8).

Trust God with troublemakers. You’re not their judge and jury. He will handle them in His timing and in His way. We have our own sins to confess and repent of on a regular basis. Our sins may not be as blatant, but they’re still present. We may not sin in such a pronounced manner as a troublemaker; nonetheless we still struggle with dishonesty and deception. It may be on a smaller scale, but we still weigh in as one who struggles with being a troublemaker.
So let’s contrast the life of a troublemaker by being a blessing maker. Let’s be a blessing instead of a curse. Let’s extend consolation instead of consternation. Let’s focus on giving instead of taking. Let’s be a solace instead of a pain. Let’s serve instead of being served. Let’s encourage instead of discourage. Kill them with kindness, and watch God turn their hearts toward Him. Give them the respect they never had, and they may begin to respect themselves. God’s grace can change troublemakers into blessing makers. We are proof!

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2).

Takeaway: How can I become more of a peacemaker? How can I love troublemakers?

Related Readings
Psalms 9:15; 35:7-8; Proverbs 11:18; 26:27; Hosea 8:7; Galatians 6:7-8

By Rev. Michael Mayer

Lutheran Pastor of two small Lutheran Churches in rural SW Ontario.