Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Injured by Gossip

Job 5:21
You shall be hidden from the scourge of the tongue, and
you shall not be afraid of destruction when it comes.

Whenever I hear the word scourge I get the mental picture of me bending over the bed and having a leather belt aimed at my rear. Now I understand scourging is far more detrimental and painful than any spanking I ever received. However, there was one thing about getting spanked that I learned very quickly -- I cannot fight it. The more I squirmed the more it hurt. If I tried to put my hands over my bottom, they got punished, if I tried to use my feet, they got hit also and the spanking continued till my fighting ceased and I accepted the discipline.

The scourging of the tongue is far more painful because it decimates one's character. I'm sure that each of us can think of people we have known whose lives have been destroyed because of false accusations. The verse says we will be hidden from the scourge (or gossip/accusations) however, it does not necessarily mean we will never have to face painful and false accusations. This could mean that God will allow our integrity to shine through and make things right in the end.

Regardless, we can not fear or become anxious when people make false accusations about us. I remember as a child being taught the rhyme "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." I can't help saying -- how wrong and how right the rhyme is. As a child, I would rather have had my bones broken: they would have healed much faster than my hurt feelings. As an adult, I can see how right the rhyme is because those words can only hurt me if I continue to dwell on them or choose to believe them (if only I had such wisdom as a child :) ).
Words are very painful, and choosing to ignore and disbelieve them is a very difficult task for a person who wants to be accepted by others. As I mature in Christ I am continually reminding myself that what others think or say does not matter as long as I am pleasing God.

As long as I am doing what is right in God's eyes I need not fear what people say about me because God will bring me through it and give strength to overcome.

Let your conversations be without covetousness; and be content
with such things that ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave
thee nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is
my helper, I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Hebrews 13:5-6

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