‘Those who consider themselves religious but do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves.’ James 1:26 NIV
When someone gossips about you, keep this in mind: people tend to accuse in others what they excuse in themselves. The story’s told about a husband who suspected his wife of losing her hearing. One night he positioned himself across the room from her as she sat in her favourite chair with her back to him. Very softly he said, ‘Can you hear me?’ When she didn’t answer he moved a little closer and repeated very softly, ‘Can you hear me?’ Still no answer. Then he moved closer and said, ‘Can you hear me?’ Still no answer. Finally he got up behind her chair and said right into her ear, ‘Can you hear me?’
She looked him in the eye and said, ‘For the fourth time, yes!’
Psychologists call this ‘projection’. We tend to project our fears, feelings, and problems onto others. But you must not let people do this to you. Lady Astor, a member of Parliament, was a constant thorn in the side of Winston Churchill, always criticising him. One day the two of them got into a heated conversation and she said, ‘Winston, I don’t like your politics, and I don’t like your moustache.’
He looked at her and said, ‘Madam, I see no earthly reason why you should ever come into contact with either one.’
Jesus’ critics accused Him of being demon-possessed. Paul’s critics called him a madman, a fool, and a babbler. And you must not expect different treatment at the hands of the same crowd. So the word for you today is: stay focused and don’t get distracted.
SoulFood: 2 Sam 3:22–7:17, John 1:43–51, Ps 23, Pro 23:4–5
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023