May 25, 2016

Psalm 109:21 But you, O Sovereign Lord,
deal well with me for your name’s sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.

This is not a comfortable Psalm to read, as David asks God for all sorts of bad things for his enemies. You could say it’s not a very “Christian” Psalm! However, an important hallmark of David’s relationship with God was brutal honesty; he didn’t sugar-coat things. This was how David felt, so he expressed it all to God as he felt it. That level of honesty is lacking from a lot of people; even the Church has become politically correct! I suppose some people would want to call it “spiritually correct,” but most of the time it’s just being dishonest. Sometimes we get so used to the pretty words that we even deceive ourselves. That doesn’t mean we’re always to be praying imprecations on people; Jesus was very clear that we must forgive if we are to be forgiven. (Matthew 6:14-15) However, we can’t forgive until we have acknowledged the wrong in our own thinking. “This is what they did to me, so because of Christ’s great mercy toward me, I choose to forgive them.” Politically correct thinking keeps us from doing that, which is why the devil loves political correctness. Even if we go on a rant against our enemies, as David did in this Psalm, we must come back to focusing on God, as David does in this verse. It is as we remember how gracious God has been toward us that we are able to be gracious toward others.

When I tell people that forgiveness includes wishing blessing on the person we are forgiving, they are often disbelieving, thinking they could never do that. However, I know from experience that is the path to the greatest healing, the greatest blessing. The ultimate revenge against an enemy is to turn them into a friend! I have learned that sometimes we have to keep people at arm’s length until God does His work in their character and personality, but that work is precisely the best thing I could pray for them. Paul quoted Proverbs 25:22 in addressing this issue. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:20) As Paul discusses there, I am never to repay evil with evil, but with good, remembering how incredibly gracious and forgiving God has been toward me. I am to be honest, as David was, but I am to let the love of God flow through me to heal and erase whatever wounds people inflict on me.

Father, thank You for the examples I have had along the way of people who lived as Your children indeed. Help me be such an example to those who see me, so that the traps of the devil may be defeated and people be set free to walk in the light of Your grace, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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