How I love Your teaching! It is my meditation all day long.
Your command makes me wiser than my enemies; for it is always with me.
I have more insight than all my teachers because Your decrees are my meditation.
I understand more than the elders because I obey Your precepts.
I have kept my feet from every evil path to follow Your word.
I have not turned from Your judgments, for You Yourself have instructed me.
How sweet Your word is to my taste– sweeter than honey to my mouth.
I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every false way.
Psalm 119: 97-104
Your command makes me wiser than my enemies; for it is always with me. While it is true that we must be friendly if we want to have friends, there will be times when people hate us without cause, even when we try to be friendly and kind. This was vividly illustrated in the life of Christ. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out demons, but he was hated so much that he was nailed to the cross.
Another example in modern times is Tim Tebow. People either love him or hate him. He attempts to live a good life, but he is criticized frequently. Just as everyone does not love Tebow, we should not assume that everyone will love us. Some people will hate us and attempt to hurt us.
However, we can gain wisdom for dealing with these people from the word of God. We can learn to forgive others, and we can pray for wisdom in responding to them. This does not mean that we allow ourselves to be abused. Quite the contrary, we may need to learn to set boundaries. If people are verbally abusive, we need to firmly but politly end the conversation. We need to show the love of Christ, but we also need to demonstrate wisdom. The Bible is filled with examples of godly people who loved others, but it is also filled with the courageous examples of people such as Paul who corrected others when they were wrong.
When others are attacking us, we need to pray for wisdom for dealing with the situation. In the past, my prayers were often, “Please make ____________ stop attacking me.” Althought I might still pray that prayer, I would also now add the words, “Give me wisdom for dealing with ___________ and help me to forgive them when they hurt me.” Life has to be lived courageously and wisely. We can not run from troubles or problems. We must face our difficulties with the wisdom gained through prayer, Bible study, and godly counsel. Reading and studying God’s word will fill us with practical knowledge to help us in our relationships with others.
Wisdom also comes from obedience to God’s word. I understand more than the elders because I obey Your precepts. This verse reminds us that we will learn wisdom through obedience. We may not understand some of God’s commands and why they are so important until we start obeying them. We may not comprehend why forgiveness is critical in responding to people who hurt us until we begin to forgive. Forgiveness opens the door for us to show the love of Christ to others and to respond to them in a fair manner–and not dish out retaliation.
God’s words and the wisdom it offers is a lifeline for dealing with difficult and quarrelsome people.
- Bitterness: A Bitter Fruit to Eat (mainwriters.com)
- A Billy Graham thought on dealing with anger (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)