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Friday, September 16, 2011

Honorable Mention

Today was Beth Moore Bible Study Day! We are continuing in our study of David and Beth continues to give us wonderful truths from his life. I always come away from the video sessions with a morsel or two to chew on and today was no exception.

The point that particularly resonated with me today was as follows: "Significant rest comes to the soul when we accept that God alone is in charge of our honor." Psalm 62:7 states, "My salvation and my honor depend on God". Seems like it should be simple enough. When she expounded on the point she raised a question as to whether you have ever been shamed in front of someone and can't seem to regain your dignity with them. In my mind the question also seemed to include allowing someone to steal your confidence. Beth pointed out that some of our biggest conflicts come over matters of personal honor.

Recently, I have had someone in my life who seemed to do just that. In subtle ways, they constantly seemed to undermine my ability to retain my dignity in their presence. It seemed they would say one thing that appeared to build me up and then in the next breath imply that I didn't have a clue. Sounds like verse 4 of the same Psalm, "With their mouths they bless, but in their hearts they curse." There were days I truly didn't know if I were coming or going. My situation is a relatively minor one and was easy enough to resolve. I took myself out of the situation and the presence of this person.

I know that there are many in situations out there that are not so easy to resolve. Abusive marriages, prodigal children, difficult parents, and the list could go on. There are people who live every day of their lives with someone who tears them down, undermines their confidence and destroys their dignity. You may be one. You may not be able to extract yourself so easily, but there is a truth you can know. God defends your honor. Verse 5 tells us that our souls find rest in "God alone". No one else can determine if we are honorable or not - that right is God's alone.

Unfortunately, it is not always so easy to let go of all those negative feelings. I have spent more than enough time and energy over the last few weeks rising to the occasion in my mind. I have had heated conversations with the person in question and let them know exactly what I thought and how I feel. I have reduced them to a quivering heap a million times in my mind. In reality, I have not only allowed them to destroy my dignity, but I've helped them along by replaying these scenes over and over in my head. My soul has not been at rest, it has been at war.

How to combat the negative soundtrack running in your brain? Know what God has to say about you. Know what God has done for you. Know what His word says about you. And when that track starts playing in your head, hit the stop button and change the tape (CD, MP3, you get the idea). Play God's soundtrack instead. I am not incompetent, I am powerful because I have God's power flowing through me. Get the picture?

So let me give you what I think is one of the sweetest verses in the Bible to get you started. Zephaniah 3:17: "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing." Picture a crying child. There is a mother who delights in that child. She shushes and sings to quiet her baby. God is singing over you. He is defending your honor. You can hold your head high no matter what circumstance you are living in. He LOVES you.

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