Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Destructive Distractions

How do you handle destructive distractions in the form of vicious attacks and false accusations from others?  A typical response would be to launch a counter attack and start slinging wild accusations in defense of oneself.   However, the Word clearly states that God is our Defense, we shall not be moved.  (Psalm 62:6)    The author of the letter to the Hebrews states that the Lord says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Hebrews 10:30). 

We can rest assured that God will “judge His own people”, we do not have to take it upon ourselves to retaliate or attempt to defend ourselves, no matter how falsely we are being accused, or how painful it is when a third party who isn’t even involved in the situation starts to attack your family out of left field.
Now the Word does not say we should be silent and allow sinful behavior to walk all over us, enter our home, and affect our marriage and children.
Jesus set boundaries by saying NO to inappropriate behavior:
  • Demands. He withdrew from the crowds who wanted him, for one-on-one time with the Father (Luke 5:15-16).
  • Abuse. He fought his way through the crowd that was trying to throw him off a cliff for claiming to be the Messiah  (Luke 4:28-30).
  • Entitlement. He didn’t give in to his mother and brothers who tried to use their relationship with him to pull him away from the crowd he was ministering to (Matthew 12:46-50).
  • Baiting Questions. When the religious leaders asked him baiting questions to make him look foolish he answered with incisive questions of his own (Matthew 21:23-27, 22:15-22).
  • Cynicism. He said no to Herod’s mocking demand, “Show us a sign that you are the Son of God.” (Luke 23:8-9).
  • Manipulation. He said no to Peter and the disciples who had an inappropriate agenda for Jesus to a political king or military warrior rather than a sacrificial lamb. (Matthew 16:23).
  • Pride. He didn’t heal those who were too proud to trust Him (Matthew 13:58).

Consequently we have decided to set boundaries in this regard, and we intend to enforce these boundaries by adhering to them ourselves, teaching them to our children, and filtering any influences from others:

  1. Do not meddle in disagreements between other people.  Remain neutral, do not judge another person based on the bad report of another.

    Proverbs 26:17
      He who passes by and meddles in a quarrel not his own Is like one who takes a dog by the ears.”

    1 Peter 4:15
    But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.” 

  2. Do not use emotional blackmail and guilt-tactics to get what you want.

    1 Corinthians 13:4-7  - 
    Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

  3. Guard you mouth and refrain from uttering poisonous and destructive words.

    Proverbs 18:21 
    Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit”

    Matthew 12:34b 
    out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

  4. When there is a problem, talk to the person individually and don’t go gossiping to others.

    Matthew 18:15  - 
    “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”

    Proverbs 20:19  -  “
    He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets; Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.”
Most importantly, we’re learning that the more we are focused on God, His Word, His will for our lives and staying tuned into our relationship with Him, the less all the external ‘noise’ of the world matters.    Jesus did not let anyone, not even His own friends and family, deter Him from His mission and His message.  He set clear boundaries, confronted them when He needed to, and remained focused on being obedient to the Father.

 "When you’re tuned into God, the noise of the world won’t be a distraction."

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