"Do not pay attention to every word people say..." (Ecclesiastes 7:21); "I have become like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply" (Psalm 38:14).It helps us to know that the wisest and the best can -- and will be -- misread and misquoted. Jesus' family thought he was crazy: "When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, `He is out of his mind'" (Mark 3:21). We then shouldn't take the time or bother to worry about what others say about us. To paraphrase Romans 8:31: "If God is for us, why be troubled about who is against us?" If we are doing God's will and purpose, then "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns?" (Romans 8:33,34).This world harbors accusers of the brethren whose delight it is to execrate and implicate. What's worse, the accusations may have a ring of truth, because the only perfect Person on earth was Jesus Christ. Even the best have blemishes that mar the face of the spirit. It is possible that God is using the person who is bent on bending us to his or her preconceptions. After all, "Who can discern his errors?" (Psalm 19:12). Personally, I believe that God allows relatives to keep us humble!We also learn from this not to form great expectations of others' actions and reactions. We have knowingly and unknowingly wounded enough people ourselves through our sins of commission and omission. Another's judgment, false or true, ought to send us to our knees in prayer for forgiveness for the accuser and the accused. And, like David, we can become like one who does not hear and will not justify the accusation.
_________________Patricia Erwin Nordman