Friday, April 26, 2013

False Accusations

A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s when someone says something about me that isn’t true – especially when it paints a less than favorable picture of my character. This happened to me recently, and it sure made me angry. If you’re like most people, you feel the same way. You don’t want your good name, your character, or your intentions misrepresented.

Unfortunately, we don’t have much control over other people and the things they say. We can, however, do a lot to build up and maintain our good name.  

We teach our children the importance of this when they’re very young. We say things like, “Think for yourself,” and “It doesn’t matter if everyone else is saying that, we don’t talk that way.” When our children are out in public or visiting in the homes of friends, we want them to represent themselves and our family name well.

Today’s Scripture teaches us to tend to our reputation. So this is actually a concept that God wants us to learn…to take care of our “name,” our character.

As I said before, we can’t control other’s words, but we can sure do a lot to build a character that others admire and want to emulate. If you think about it, your reputation and good name is one thing you take with you everywhere you go. Proverbs tells us that our good name is worth a lot – even more valuable than silver or gold.

Think about that for a minute: If you have nothing but a good reputation, you still have something of great worth. However, if you have all the money in the world but have a terrible reputation, what will it matter? God’s Word tells us to value our good name.

Friday, April 5, 2013

My Redeemer Lives

I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. Job 19:25 (NIV)

He lost all of his livestock when bandits attacked. He lost all of his servants when another group of invaders came and killed them all. All of his sheep were consumed by fire. An invading army took all of his camels and killed those tending them. And then all of his children were killed when a wind blew down the house in which they were having a party. Finally, he had his good health taken from him when he was struck with a disease that caused his skin—from his head to his toes—to break out in boils.

Job lost everything.

His friends came to console him and found him sitting on a burning pile of ashes, scraping his sores with a broken piece of pottery. This begins the conversation between Job and his three friends.

I've had some bad situations in my life. Never this bad, but I do remember people coming and sharing their perspective on my troubles. Perhaps you’ve been there too, or maybe you were the friend that came to console with words of human wisdom.

What’s a person to do in this situation? Where does one turn? Should we turn to God? Certainly God must already be aware. These are the questions brought out in Job’s story, and they are the questions we all ask when facing trials.

In the middle of the dialogue between Job and his friends, Job injects his own perspective. All he says is, “I know that my redeemer lives.”

To where can one turn when it seems God is not stepping in to help? What else is there to say when deep trouble hits? Even in the worst of trials, we have the hope that one day our Redeemer will return and make all things right.