Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding
so that I can learn Your commands.
Those who fear You will see me and rejoice,
for I put my hope in Your word.
I know, Lord, that Your judgments are just
and that You have afflicted me fairly.
May Your faithful love comfort me,
as You promised Your servant.
May Your compassion come to me so that I may live,
for Your instruction is my delight.
Let the arrogant be put to shame for slandering me with lies;
I will meditate on Your precepts.
Let those who fear You,
those who know Your decrees, turn to me.
May my heart be blameless regarding Your statutes
so that I will not be put to shame.
(Psalm 119:73-80, Christian Standard Bible)
There are times in all our lives when we face conflict & slander. Those times are never pleasant (understatement of the year nominee, that, huh?). It seems to be a recurring theme in the psalmist’s poem, one I’ve not really said much about so far in this series. If there is one thing I’ve learned through conflicts of the past it is one that is echoed in the passage bolded above. When you are being unfairly treated, falsely accused, or gossiped about, the best thing to do is to let your life be so clearly devoted to the wisdom and prudence of godly living and faith in the Lord that all the silliness of those who would harm you and/or your reputation is seen for what it is. Trust God to take care of slanderer, the gossip, the liar, because our efforts to do so often just cause more harm than good. Instead, just be the person God’s called you to be and let Him take care of the rest. Not easy, I’ll admit…especially if you’re a fixer personality…but wise.
Peter gives similar advice to Christians in a world that was constantly hurling insults and accusations: “Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (I Peter 2:11-12 NIV)