I Don’t Want to Hear About It

I attended a Ladies’ Bible Study this week and one of the participants is a pastor’s wife. She started in her twenties and is now at retirement age. In the course of our discussion on how to handle difficulties when they come our way, she remarked that as a pastor’s wife, she’s had to forgive people for gossiping about her. I looked at all the ladies and said, “I’ve not heard about anyone gossiping about me and if they are, I don’t want to hear about it!”

They laughed and one lady started to kid me. 🙂

Truly, if the pastor and his wife are being talked about in an unkind way, the people doing the talking may want to be sure of their facts. I told the ladies that “If the pastor’s wife is being gossiped about, that can cause division in the church.”

We reminded ourselves that God hates gossip, it is akin to murder. Young people today have killed themselves after being harassed on social media sites, so in those cases, gossip literally caused such distress it turned into murder from despair. “Dear God, help our young people to feel valued and to trust in You.”

Consider the servant of Saul, the future King David, a man after God’s own heart. David was being stalked by Saul and his warriors so Saul could kill him. David never took revenge or killed his enemy. He said, “Who am I to kill God’s anointed?”

David wanted to be right with God. He trusted God to work things out in the way God wanted them to go. In the New American Standard Bible it says in Hebrews 10: 30-31, “For we know Him who said, ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.’ And again, ‘THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.’ It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

When I’ve been really upset with someone, it helps to think that maybe I don’t know where they’re coming from. What caused that person to slander my name? It hurts, but later I wonder, did I offend them in a way that I need to apologize?

Ultimately, my life is in God’s hands. I can’t make someone be kind and I have no control over those who choose to be cruel. I can only choose my own reactions. If someone decides to gossip and slander me it usually comes back to my attention. Then I deal with it, hopefully with tact and God’s wisdom. I take it to heart not to let the sun go down on my wrath.

When I don’t forgive, I feel lousy physically, emotionally and spiritually. So I’m all for forgiveness, even if it’s not always easy. God bless!

Suicide – the Great Deception

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I saw my doctor for a routine check-up and I told her I’d been to the hardest funeral the day before, a suicide of a young person. She said they are altogether too common, and this young doctor dropped her head.

The funeral on Sunday broke my heart. The tightly held tears wracked my body for this precious girl and her family. Jesus said in John 10:10 that “the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to give life and that abundantly.”

We are in a spiritual battle and God, the creator of the universe, invites us to fight for life and righteousness through prayer and loving Him and others, and witnessing. He gives his children free will to choose Him or to choose Satan’s course, a life rejecting God and going our own way.

From what I’ve read in the Bible, Satan relishes his hatred of mankind and uses his influence to cause havoc around the world. He hates people because we are made in the image and likeness of God, Who kicked Satan out of heaven for wanting to take God’s place, as found in Isaiah 14:12.

I remember thinking of suicide in college because the thought of it kept hitting my brain. When I mentioned it to my boyfriend, now my husband of nearly 40 years, he said, “Why would anyone think of suicide?”

I told him I would never do that. But Satan wants people to kill themselves. He is a liar and a thief. I don’t know how many suicide victims make it to heaven, it depends on their belief in Jesus Christ and their repentant heart. I prayed long and hard that none of the people at that funeral would succumb to the well-meaning phrases of the pastor.

He called her death a tragedy twice in the midst of a long eulogy extolling the wonders of heaven and God’s incredible love. As this beautiful, 28 year old daughter lay in her coffin, her mom and dad poured out memories as they tried to keep their woundedness at bay. The dad did better than the mom. As her mom told us of the ignored text, “Please, please, don’t do it,” her daughter chose to end the gift of life from God above, and her mom bawled as she ended her talk.

Her first-born and only daughter will never text her again, listen to advice or offer her mom insight and hope that young people often impart back to their parents.

I can’t help but cry as I write this because I knew her as a baby, I’ve been close friends with her grandmother for years, I saw her as a college graduate with a degree fashioned so she could help others. I witnessed the pain of her loved ones.

I’m sad. I’m mad. America embraces a culture of death when God’s plans, as stated in Jeremiah 29:11-13, are for a future, a hope, peace, a life filled with a relationship with God.

I shopped for infant wear last month and skipped racks of clothes with skulls on them in a local department store, which I found appalling.

“Dear God, protect our young people from suicide, I pray. May they know Your love and protection and hope and guidance, I ask, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”