Psalm 55 :12-14 — Now it is not an enemy who insults me—
otherwise I could bear it;it is not a foe who rises up against me—
otherwise I could hide from him. But it is you, a man who is my peer,
my companion and good friend! We used to have close fellowship;
we walked with the crowd into the house of God. (HCSB)
Lord, I’m sitting here with my coffee this morning feeling very beaten down and discouraged. As I was speaking to a group about being encouraging and welcoming to people, I felt that a church member in the audience was almost heckling me. What was meant to be “discussion time” seemed to become “target practice time” as verbal arrows began coming my way, and they were hitting their target’s bull’s-eye. The comments were neither encouraging nor welcoming! I have spent many hours revisiting what was said and the manner in which it was presented, and I can only quote King David from Psalm 55 – “my thoughts trouble me and I am distraught” (v.2) and “my heart is in anguish within me” (v.4a). I know that my words are not without error and I don’t even pretend that everyone will always agree with me or always like what I say, but this attack was a total shock. Like with David (vv.12-14), it was unexpected, and I felt “sucker punched” because it came from a church member. Lord, I know that as believers we need to hold each other accountable, but sometimes fellow church members can take that as permission to go to extremes with criticism. I know that Proverbs 27:17 says that iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another (HCSB), but this feels more like being hit with the iron! Unlike David’s pleas in v.15, I am not plotting revenge or asking for You to bury this person alive (although a bad case of laryngitis would have been nice!). No, I am questioning myself – what I said as opposed to what I could have said; how I handled the situation as opposed to how I could have handled the situation. In verses 6-8, David wants to run away – that’s how I feel right now too. Maybe I shouldn’t speak to groups…..maybe I shouldn’t speak at all …..maybe I should just run away to the desert! Or, maybe I should give my hurt and frustration to You. Maybe I should take the advice David gives in verse 22 and go forth in full knowledge that You will take care of it. Lord, I feel very beaten down. I’m discouraged. My confidence has been shaken. But, my help comes from the Lord (Psalm 121:2 HCSB), and I will conclude this situation just as David concluded Psalm 55 — I will trust You (v.23).