WHEN I AM VILIFIED
Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. Psalm 119:23
David had been slandered by Saul. He had been slandered even by his own sons. The true disciple who lives like Jesus will be vilified at some point during his life. Those who are most offended by the Gospel will be the ones who rise up to wage war against him with words. Fear fuels their energy; fear of the truth.
What can make this experience so painful and debilitating is who it is that vilifies. When the unfair criticism comes from someone I don’t know, it’s easier to shrug it off. When it comes from a well respected member of the community, it can be permanently debilitating without a spiritual rudder.
Jesus drew harsh words from religious leaders and heads of state. Their influence on the people was pervasive yet because He was grounded in His mission and lived in uninterrupted communication with His Father, He never lost His way because of it. Nor, it appears, did His disciples. Even John the Baptist invited the hatred of Herod and his wife but that didn’t dilute his message. He knew his own heart and he understood the pathology of kingdom clashes.
To be the subject of scorn and not lose my way, I must have my head and heart in the scriptures. To be a successful Christian does not mean that I will always be popular and well thought of. In fact, just the opposite. I will be vilified. Jesus prepared his disciples to be street smart. “The world hates me and they will hate you too,” He said. I am a foreigner here and the alien’s culture is at the very least, peculiar. For Jesus, living by the laws of the kingdom paved the road to Calvary.
When I am hated for Your sake, remind me how you reacted. Give me grace to do the same. Amen