My first year as a teacher was tough. I taught kids with special educational needs. In addition to those needs, many of them were behavior problems. I had class sizes of 24-28 kids, 3 grades mixed.I had one class, science, that was particularly troublesome and I decided one day to make an audio recording of the class. One of my 8th grade students shouted out something he shouldn’t have. When I called him on it, he argued with me. Then he said something like, “If I really said that it should be on tape.” He had no expectation of being taped because this was really the first and only class I ever did that with. When he said that though, we went to the tape. He was quite sheepish when he heard himself say exactly what I called him out on.
David dealt with all kinds of enemies. Some were violent and required physical means to oust. Others plotted against him. They devised evil plans in secret. They talked and conspired as they sought ways to overthrow David. David, celebrating God’s protection over those evil-doers noted how God would take care of them. “He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.” (Psalm 64:8)
Through my many years of teaching I noted that whenever something happened at school, eventually, someone would let us know who caused the problem. Someone would brag to the wrong people. Someone would be seeking a deal or trying to avoid getting into trouble themselves. Their own words would ultimately hang them Currently there are a number of outlets where that same thing happens. People brag about their evil ways on FaceBook all the time. Criminals have been caught because of FaceBook posts! If you said it and it was ever recorded, it’s bound to be on YouTube. Many who seek to do evil have to confront their own words. Political advertisements are often created that include nothing more than the words of the opponent. Words matter and anything we say will be used against us in the court of public opinion. Those who do evil will end up in ruin.
What does that mean in everyday life? First we need to realize that all of what we say should be seasoned with the grace of God. Even as I speak out on the grace of God, there are probably many judgmental things I’ve said that could be found and thrown in my face. That being said, when confronted with the words of someone else who is speaking against us, perhaps we need to look on them with more grace than anger. If they are really plotting against us, God will deal with them. At the same time, if things have changed, perhaps we can destroy our enemy by building a friendship. When it comes to what people say, if they are evil and we give them enough opportunity, they will craft their own rope with which they will hang themselves.
Lord God, I know that I have said some terrible things that could be turned against me. As much as I regret them, I am grateful that You have chosen to forgive them. Help me to learn to forgive others with the grace and mercy I have received from You.