“For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.” Hebrews 12:3
Yesterday I felt a full force attack for doing something right but to those who wanted to discredit me came what seemed like a kick to the stomach. That kind of feeling just seems to go hand-in-hand with doing what is right but which is not understood by the world around us. In our desire to keep our soul in a restful state before the Lord instead of the flurry of condemnation which can be brought upon us by our fellow man, we open ourselves up to those who want to prove us wrong because their way of perceiving our actions come from a less than godly place. It is easy to get discouraged when these times come, but then God offers us another solution instead of fretting about what these people who are on the outside of seeing the need to live in a manner that protects our hearts and minds from the corruption they allow to control and manipulate them every day of their lives.
How we are affected by those who intend to harm us has the most to do with how we think on the things which are presented to us each day and what we chose to limit from even entering our mind so we are not tempted to go down paths that may lead us to weariness, discouragement, or even anger.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8
I have had people ask me in the past why I don't have a Facebook account. I guess for some my reasoning is hard to understand, but from my perspective there is little good that comes from this type of social media. I know that some people do find ways to limit their interactions, but I learned a few years ago that interacting on social media outlets often leads to words between people that would not have been said if they had to say them face to face. Yes, I realize that some people can temper that sort of behavior but I find that even though I could do my best to stay tempered and strong in how I present myself, that sort of temperance does not limit what I may have to receive from others who have a more difficult time in controlling what they desire to speak into my life.
Does this mean I am above criticism? No, it doesn't. But, what I would prefer if I had to handle criticism in my life is a more personal and sincere interaction with the one who has seen my behavior or words as out of line or is questioning my way of thinking about something. Within those types of parameters we have the ability to be more thoughtful, to be more willing to come to an understanding, to be willing to see the other side someone has to present instead of just putting our words out onto the world wide web so we can prove that we are right and those who disagree with us are wrong.
As I was reading through Hebrews this morning I found myself relating to these following verses:
“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it...Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:1, 11-13
Find the rest that God has for us in the midst of this crazy broken world is something we must be diligent about. Staying within the word of God over what the words of man, which may be purposely projected at you in order to bring you down, is a necessary practice. Surrounding yourself with people who speak truth into your life over those who only have corruption in their hearts is a must. Realizing that God will take an account of all you have allowed yourself to be tempted by and thus have given into is a good reminder to always keep “whatever [is] true... noble...pure... lovely...of good report... virtue[ous] and...praiseworthy” before you. Being discerning by comparing things against the word of the Lord and also imploring the gifts of another to help you be discerning when you must interact with the evil in the world are very important tactics to employ so as to guard your heart and your mind.
After every thing I went through yesterday, it was like a sweet balm to my soul to be able to escape to worship team practice and sing out to the Lord and remember His great and mighty works instead of the small and short-sided ways of man. I have to agree with the following psalmist, that God finds great delight when I keep my mind on Him and let Him worry about the wickedness of the world. Today I will chose to keep my mind guarded with the help a praiseworthy mindset, truth-filled meditations, gladness in my heart, and a song always on my tongue. The Lord can work great things if I stay in this place and just rest in His ability to “do more than I could ask or think”. I hope you too will find His place of rest so that this world does not weary or discourage you.
“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the Lord.
May sinners be consumed from the earth,
And the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord!” Psalm 104:33-35