Victim or Victor?

Michael Beck

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.” (Hebrews 12:14-160)

Certain events in our life place us at a crossroads. In a moment of weakness our passion can get the best of us. We succumb to an offer we should refuse. “And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” (Gen. 25:32) Yes, Jacob took advantage of the situation, but Esau’s own hatred of pain was his undoing.

Later, Esau faced another crossroads. Once again, his brother was out to get what belonged to him. This time he came home to discover his brother had stolen his blessing. Insult was added to injury. This double injustice formed in him a deep root of bitterness. Only the intervention of God spared Jacob from his murderous rage.

Each of us has defining painful events in our life. At these crossroads, apart from the grace of God we inevitably take the wrong path. We yield to and justify our worst instincts. We become no better, and often worse, than those who have hurt us.

Our story can be one of triumph or tragedy. Through the events in our life we can become bitter or better. Everything depends upon whether we will let God redeem every painful place we have traversed and bring us forth as gold.

We have a story to tell – in it will we be a victim or a victor? That will be determined at the crossroads, where the grace of God awaits you.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.