11-12 Hostile accusers appear out of nowhere, they stand up and badger me. They pay me back misery for mercy, leaving my soul empty. 13-14 When they were sick, I dressed in black; instead of eating, I prayed. My prayers were like lead in my gut, like I’d lost my best friend, my brother. I paced, distraught as a motherless child, hunched and heavyhearted.
Psalm 35: 11-12 MSG
There are many psalms in which the authors cry out to God to save them from their enemies and to protect them from harm intended by those around them. While this may seem depressing when things are looking rosy in your life, it is very comforting when you are feeling rejected or unappreciated. This is especially helpful for those whose jobs involve others critiquing their performance, such as athletes, church leaders, performers, speakers, writers, politicians, and teachers.
A challenging part of these professions is that, while some people lovingly give constructive criticism and even mention
things they like about you and what you are trying to accomplish, other people will list what they think went wrong with your performance, what they don’t like about you personally, and how you failed to meet their expectations. Which group people fall into says a lot about their hearts and their awareness, or lack there of, of the impact of their words.
This raises a few questions to ponder this week: Do you pray for those who are hostile to you and thank God for those who lift you up? Do you take a few minutes each day to share positive thoughts and feelings with people in your life? Are you a hostile accuser of others?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me to be a positive voice in others’ lives, and to forgive and pray for those who are hostile towards me. Amen.