7 The Lord is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in princes.
Psalm 118: 22-23
22 The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.
23 This is [i]the Lord’s doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.
What can man do to me?
The fear of man has plagued me all of my life. I suffered some tough rejections as a child, and those seeds were planted deep. I guess most people want to be liked, but my need for the approval of others became a sickness, or as God’s word calls it, a snare. I have allowed what other people think of me to shut me down, when I know God wanted me to speak. I have allowed the fear of man to open my mouth, when I knew God didn’t want me to say anything. I have tried to vindicate myself, when I’ve been lied about and slandered. The more you try to prove your innocence, the more people don’t believe you. So God gave me a verse to meditate on to help me begin to be silent, while being misunderstood, falsely accused, ridiculed or just not feeling like I fit in.
“21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;24 23]and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (1 Peter 2:21-25)
Jesus never did anything wrong. I could never say this about myself. Sometimes I suffered the consequences of my own bad choices, sometimes I suffered the consequences of other people’s bad choices. Either way, I was to remain silent once I had done all that I knew to be right to correct a situation. I asked forgiveness where I was wrong, and walked away. I kept silent, I so wanted to cry out, “You don’t know the truth, You don’t understand, You’re wrong!” to my accusers, but my Lord Kept silent, so I would keep silent. But people are fickle, they like you one day, not so much, the next. Especially in the world.
There is a quote by a guy named Frederich Beuchner (sp?) that I love, he says, “God baptized me in the criticism of man in order to free me from the fear of man.” This too has been my road, and I don’t think I could have been freed any other way. I had to trust God to be my deliverer, my vindicator, my truth teller. I had to learn to be silent and keep entrusting myself to Him who judges righteously. Jesus was the stone which the builders rejected. He became the chief cornerstone. Sometimes, when rejection comes, we need to remember this about our Lord. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and aquainted with grief.(Isaiah 53)