You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes. —Job 5:21
And if the servants of Christ are not delivered from outward troubles, they are delivered by them, and while overcome by one trouble, they conquer all. Whatever is maliciously said against them shall not hurt them. They shall have wisdom and grace to manage their concerns. —Matthew Henry
Despite the awkward way Job’s friend Eliphaz delivers this promise, it holds true nonetheless. God promises to give us the ability to handle any negative talk, any slight to our reputation, when we trust and obey Him. The challenge lies in the trusting.
I have both been the victim and perpetrator of what the Apostle Paul calls “unwholesome talk.” But being on the wrong end of it never ceases to catch me unaware. Scripture makes it clear – if they could call Jesus the devil incarnate, as believers in Him, we are in for it too. But I’ll be honest, a negative comment about my faith stings for a long time.
The Accuser stands ready and willing to hit us where it hurts. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but a harsh word tears down my confidence. Mean-spirited talk makes me think twice about who I am and sets me on a path of questioning whether God thinks the same. I can be successful in every other part of my life, but when my integrity is called into question, it spoils my entire outlook!
The writer of Song of Solomon labels the “lash of the tongue” as “little foxes that spoil the vine” (2:15) They stop us in our tracks – derailing our progress of growth. I know a lot of people live in fear of what others think. They fear a negative response so much; it paralyzes them from talking about the wonders of their life in Christ.
If the fear of what others will say keeps you from talking about God, it is time to ingest this promise. It is time to stop believing the Accuser when he points his finger and screams, “FRAUD! IMPOSTER! FAKE!” It is time to believe instead in the words of your Heavenly Father:
This is my son, my daughter, in whom I am well pleased. (Mathew 3:17, Mark 1:11)
That declaration from God was made about Jesus – but we live it too. God sees us just as He sees His beloved Son. We can take that to the bank every minute of the day. We can take it and run away from the fear of what others will say.
What matters is what God thinks about you, friend!
People will still say ugly things to you and about you. But you don’t have to let it hurt you anymore. By believing God over them, you are secure in His love. You are held by His everlasting peace. His thoughts about you never, ever change.
It is time to face your fear and time to tell the Accuser he has no power over you. The only power over you now is Christ’s love. Jesus speaks volumes about how wonderful you are in His Word. He goes on and on about how valuable you are to Him. He loves you so much, He died for you to believe those promises.
Today – it is time for a fresh start. Confess your fear to God and be healed. Leave behind the burden of what others say in favor of what God says. It is your moment to move forward in your relationship with God. Do it now.
Will you believe what God says about you or continue to believe what others say?
Heavenly Father – I’ve held onto the fear of what others say about me for a long time. I’ve let it get in the way of growing in You. Please forgive me because I want to value what You think of me more. Jesus, I want You to be proud to confess me to Your Father but I need Your help. Remove this fear so I can embrace the freedom You desire for me. Help me Lord in my weakness and let Your strength be mine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.