You’ve heard the words, the ones you wished you hadn’t heard. I know I’ve said the words, words I should never have thought let alone said. They’ve oozed out of the corners of my mouth. They’ve caused pain and anguish. I know I’ve apologized for those words and hurts and I have been forgiven. But sometimes, an apology does not seem to be enough. The damage done by my carelessness is deeper than I understand.
I’ve sometimes been the recipient of those words. My heart has been hurt, stained with pain over the opinion others have of me and my life circumstances. I have wondered who will stand up for me. Who will defend me?
I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. In my integrity you uphold me and set me in your presence forever. Psalm 41:11-12 (NIV)
Meanwhile, I’m sure you’re on my side – no victory shouts yet from the enemy camp! You know me inside and out, you hold me together, you never fail to stand me tall in your presence so I can look you in the eye. Psalm 41:11-12 (MSG)
Living the life Jesus calls me to live does not necessarily make me popular. I do not always share the same opinion as those around me. I do not make the same choices that they do. I have no doubt that they question my motives and desires. I am completely unable to change their opinion – that’s something personal and formed without my input.
I need to be careful about who I am living my life for. If I choose to live to please everyone else around me, I know I will never succeed. I can never live up to their expectations of me. I will have boxed myself into many a corner trying to figure out what they want and wish. Attempting to make them happy will be harder than I can imagine. Without even meaning to, I know I will disappoint many.
I choose to live a life devoted to loving and pleasing the God who loves me. My God is the God who is with me. He chooses to delight in me. He’s on my side. He knows who I am for He made me. He knows how I try to follow Him. He knows the times when the following is good. He knows how often He intervenes, rescuing me off the rabbit trails I have wandered onto. While people may give up on me and throw me under the bus of life, my God is the One who does not fail me. He desires for me to be constantly in His presence.
Regardless of what others may think, His opinion is the one that matters more than all the others. Somehow I will find a way to drown out the other voices so that His voice is the loudest one I hear.