Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Respond With The Word

          When I was about 12 or 13 years old, I had fight with a boy a bit older than me.  I really did him in.  If it was up to him, he would have just let it go, but the obvious damage I left of his face caused his mother to investigate which older boy did this to her son.  I remember when she knocked on the door and the expressions of both her and my mom.  My mom’s expression because she could not believe little old me did that to that big boy, and his mom’s expression as though she could not believe her son allowed a little runt like me to do so much damage.  The adults were of course much more civilized.  My mom asked me why we were fighting, but I did not respond.  In my eyes whether I responded or not, I was going to get the beating of my life, so I chose to remain quiet.  The other boy unknowingly saved my behind.  He stated why we were fighting.  You see my mom, has a big behind.  What makes it stand out even more is she has a real small waste.  So to a young boy’s eye that is considered fat. 
            This boy, Felix is his name, would tease me about it.  The more others laughed the more he added to it.  I remember it was in the middle of winter, and we were outside in the park playing in the snow and ice.  Everybody was just having fun, until Felix felt he needed to add excitement to it.  He started in on my mom’s behind.  I got mad and told him a couple of choice words after I told him to shut up.  I remember he pushed me down and asked what I was going to do about it.  I remember looking at him crying, knowing that I would not be able to win.  I felt a piece of sturdy ice near my hands.  I pretended to take my skully off to wipe my face, but I put that piece of ice in my hat.  I let him have it until the ice turned to slush.  I went home with a sense of accomplishment.  I finally was able to silence his disrespectful behind.  After a few minutes sitting and watching our mothers speak, Felix looked at me and apologized.  When they left, my mother’s look told me that I escaped a sore behind.  She said that famous phrase.  “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt” I remember saying to myself, speak for yourself mom, what he said was hurtful.
            Thank God for Jesus.  I am of course a grown man, and a different man. So situations like that would of course be handled differently now.  However, there is that specific somebody that always has something swift to say.  Can you get with me on this?  That someone who just don’t know when to shut their mouth.  Always in your ear with some type of foolishness.  Not knowing when to be sensitive when it is warranted, or just not realizing the hurt their words inflict.  Sometimes you wish you could just slap the taste out of their mouth and silence them once and for all.  As good as it may feel to do such a thing, it is required that we do not.  That person has one of those annoying spirits on them, and the only true way to silence them is by using the word of God.  Jesus when he was led up to be tempted was tried 3 times by the devil and 3 times the word was the response.  I know it is “easier said than done”, but nonetheless this is what we are dealing with, an annoying spirit, and the word is the best weapon to combat it.  Amen.
            The Apostle Paul was faced with a similar scenario.  The bible states “Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.  This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation." And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And he came out that very hour.”  The King James Version used the word “grieved” instead of “annoyed, which gives it an alternate meaning.  This is up for the individual’s interpretation, however the Greek word is “diaponeo”, which can mean to toil through, or grieved.  Toil is defined as hard and continuous work.  Since the scripture points to this slave following Paul and the other Apostles and chanting the same gibberish for days, it is fitting that “annoyed” is the proper word to use, since they had to deal with that, or toil through that for two days.  So now that I have offered an exegetical view, as you can see, Paul was annoyed with this girl.  He did not address the girl, but address that spirit, and the spirit had no choice but to vacate the host, because of the name used.  Jesus!!!
            Family, we have to step out of what we are used to and step into what is required.  For some of us, we were taught to respond in kind when someone says hurtful things.  We were taught that responding in this manner will give us justification.  No family, this brings us closer to the enemy and further away from God.  We have the power to tell that spirit to flee.  We are able to put that spirit under subjection.  It is a better feeling to use the word of God to address the issue, and possibly being a positive testimony to that same hurtful person, than to have temporary satisfaction giving a tit for a tat.  Give it a try.  You will most likely gain a friend.  Amen!

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