** O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.** Psalm 25:2,3
David had a steady stream of enemies that wanted to be who he was and have what he had.
Today, we do not have kingdoms and crowns and wealth like David did, but we still have enemies. Ours are more of the verbal, argumentative kind. They are those that question what we do and why we do it.
David seemed to always have a good handle on what to do about his enemies. He never took his personal enemies on face to face. He always kept his distance. He left them in God’s hands to deal with them in his own way and his own time. He protected himself and those near him, but he did not step into the fight.
In life and in ministry, we have seen a handful of people behave like they are our enemies. They argue, get angry, insult, badger, get frustrated, and seek to remove us from their world.
My response has usually been a desire to fight back with equal negative energy. And to be honest, I have done that a few times. I am not proud of it, but it is my reality.
Over time, God has given me grace to accept these people’s anger with patience and gentleness. It is not an easy thing to do, because while I am responding with as much understanding and kindness that I can muster, inside I am in pain. Because it hurts to have someone verbally attack you and question your motives.
One thing that I have learned is to pray (Ephesians 6:18)before I have a conversation with anyone, anywhere and at anytime. Whether by phone, messaging, texting, email, Facebook, or in person. It gets my God radar up, and focuses me on who I am and Who I represent.
As an adult, I have very rarely had anyone challenge me physically, but as we all know, words can sometimes be more painful. Proverbs 15:1 tells us that a soft answer turns away wrath. My husband is an expert at this verse. Over the years, he has turned around many a conversation that has started out harsh and accusing. He is a great example for me, and watching him has helped me to respond to others the way he does.
David knew how to deal with his enemies, by faith, trusting that God would give him or give back his throne in his time.
Jesus knew how to deal with his enemies as well, by staying focused on why He came and making that a priority over defending himself.
Ephesians 6 gives us several more ways to “fight back” when we are attacked. Do you have your own way of putting them into practice that you could share with us?
God has called us to peace, and to be peacemakers. It isn’t easy but it is the goal, no?