Psalm 43:1 – Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust
Vindicate me, O God
My last blog post was about God vindicating His people. So you might wonder why I would choose a verse from scripture that also has God vindicating me. Well, I have been inspired by a blog post I read by Sharla Fritz called, “How to be a Hero: Defend Someone“. You’ll want to take a read of that, it really got me thinking about my dad. I don’t know if I have personally ever heard my dad say something bad about someone. I know he has, because he has confessed calling an ex-boyfriend of mine a jerk, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. He’s a believer in the “If you can’t say something nice…” wait, he’s not actually. My father doesn’t just refrain from saying mean things, he has told me he works at always finding something nice to say about people when their names are brought up and they’re not present. Sharla Fritz points out in her blog,
“Defending someone when they are not around is an act of heroism. You are rescuing their reputation, you are saving their dignity. When you stand up for another person, you are protecting their character. A true ally will shield another’s good name. There is no shortage of people who are anxious to tear others down. Be the person who turns the conversation around.”
Defend my cause against an ungodly people
God is our great defender. We can trust that God will bring any falsehoods told about us to light, and that He will arm us with the words we need by the Holy Spirit.
11 When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how[a] you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.”
No matter who is accusing you, chastising or berating you, you can trust and pray for the Lord to show you the words to use. Every time people treat us badly, we’re given an opportunity to reflect God’s glory by responding differently than others might.
I don’t know about you, but I can be defensive. I don’t like to be wrong, and when someone points out one of my failures (or two or three), I’m more likely to point out ten of theirs. But it never pays off. Being defensive, trying to defend ourselves with human reasoning and logic deflate our argument. Say someone says you’re pig-headed, telling them five reasons you’re not, is…pig-headed. Our pride often gets in our way of being witnesses for God. When we’re able to defend others, see another’s position, humble ourselves, we’re able to show what is most important in our lives, God. Being defensive is a sure sign that your pride is involved and you can’t be putting God first, because at that moment you’re only thinking about how you’ve been wronged, misrepresented or mistreated. You’re thinking about yourself. But with humbleness and acceptance, turning to God and allowing Him to take the responsibility of defending us, we’re freed to show others love even when they don’t deserve it (do any of us ever truly deserve it?).
Lord, Help me to put my pride aside. Help me not to defend myself, but allow myself to be a witness to you in all circumstances. Help me not to put my pride first. Help me to think of Your will above my own. Help me to defend others and to only say nice things about people. Help me to refrain from being catty, unkind and boastful. Keep my thoughts pure and focused on you. Help me choose humility over pride. Forgive me when I fail. Amen.
Do you get defensive?