The worst thing about being a self-published, degree-less, amateur writer is the necessity to be one’s own editor. This, by far, is the most humbling and awkward position for such a person to be in. I’m not referring to petty spelling errors or the occasional typo (although those, too, can be quite embarrassing at times.) No. There are certain times where the truth becomes so crystal clear after the fact that a writer longs to obtain the magic cyber eraser from the sky and begin again. But it doesn’t work that way now does it? Consequently, the only solution is to either spend far more time thinking, praying, and fasting before pressing the fearful “publish” button, to return to the damaged article and correct it, or, to simply bite the bullet and draw the attention of your readers to the fact that you are the farthest thing from perfect that they have ever met…or read.
That said, my red pen is calling me this morning. I cannot leave any room for doubt. I must make some corrections in what I previously thought to be publishable.
To whom it may concern:
Now Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men. And Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” 29 And David said, “What have I done now? Was it not but a word?” 30 And he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way, and the people answered him again as before. ~1 Samuel 17:28-30
Little baby brother is showing big tough front-line brother up. Big tough front-line brother is mad. He is mad because he is jealous, prideful, and insecure about his own failure to do that which baby brother has the courage to do.
The writer speaks of her own cowardice and shame concerning that which she is called by her Lord to do. How many underdogs have quietly shown her up simply by showing up and doing God’s will without talking about it! She is often beside herself with pride, anger, and jealousy.
Why did you come here small boy? Just who do you think you are? I’ll tell you what I think: you are nothing. You probably left the one itty-bitty responsibility you had unattended. I know you. I know what is in your black heart. You are bored. You are lazy. You are just looking for some action in your miserable, purposeless life. You have no business here on my turf. You are worthless; better yet, you are evil. Go back where you came from, inferior.
In her pride, the writer often errs with harsh, repeated diatribes where she should instead be expressing humble gratitude, holy grace, and the deferential sorrow over her own sin.
Eliab, in his unrighteous anger, used every angle he could find to discredit David. He sought wholeheartedly to deny him the honor due him for his courage and hunger for righteousness.
The writer often wrongly believes that her anger is righteous and that others’ actions and speech are suspicious, unrighteous, and undeserving of honor. Because of this, she discounts their efforts and replaces acclamation and thanks to God with disgust, rejection, and unbelief towards God and the people he has chosen to use for his glory.
Nevertheless, David was obedient. He was zealous for the Lord. He was courageous, fearless, and wise even despite the towering foe he knew he was about to face and the pain of his brother’s injurious accusations.
Despite all the writer’s sin and suspicion, Jesus was obedient. He was zealous, courageous, fearless, and wise in her stead. Jesus paid no mind to Lori’s ridiculous demeanor.
Eliab would not hear of it. He made sure his false accusations and unfounded charges were loud and clear. He tells David he is presumptuous as he himself stands presuming upon his innocent brother.
There was no shortage of presumption or accusation. The writer not only failed to appreciate her brother’s grace, she accused him of that which she was guilty.
David is not fazed. David answers softly and turns around. He continues about his Father’s business. Consider, though, that there are quite a lot of things David could have said or done to defend himself.
Jesus was not fazed by Lori’s absurdity. Jesus ignored her bogus rants. He did all that the Father commanded him – for her. Imagine what she really deserved…
He could have argued. He could have cried. He could have owned it. He could have gone back home. He could have clocked his brother a good one. He could have reciprocated his brother’s false accusations. Doubtless, there are countless ways David could have returned evil for evil. None of them,however, would result in giving glory to God.
Jesus annihilated the writer with his wit and wisdom. He wept for her condemned condition. He owned her sin completely. He refused to go back home without her. He crushed her by falling upon her like a stone. He never accused her. He uses her imperfections to glorify God.
The bottom line is, David had bigger fish to fry and he knew it. He’s got no time for this kind of infantile tomfoolery. David was interested in only one thing – the Lord’s will. He knew it was not his reputation that was ultimately at stake here; it was the Lord’s! How important it was for him to overlook the insults being hurled at him and turn away from that mess. Therefore, he was wise. He was patient. He was forgiving. Such things are apparent by the way he held his peace (save a question or two about the validity of the charges) and, in doing so, kept his peace.
Jesus has a plan that far exceeds any error the writer can make. He does not let her stupidity slow down his sanctification in her. He has only one goal – conforming Lori to himself. He is not concerned in the least with what this means in regards to her reputation; He is concerned about his beautiful child and his worthy Name. He disregards her foolish, blatant, repeated errors and he allows his flawless wisdom, patience, and forgiveness to reign over her with peace. He questions her softly and, in his kind mercy and gentle grace, convicts her of the sin she holds most tightly onto.
Likewise, Matthew Henry writes, “Those that undertake great and public services must not think it strange if they be discountenanced and opposed by those from whom they had reason to expect support and assistance; but must humbly go on with their work, in the face not only of their enemies’ threats, but of their friends’ slights and suspicions.”
Will walker writes, “Through a variety of means, Satan attacks our children at the level of their identity and purpose. If he can get them to believe that they are nothing more than a sinner (a message propagated through much of the evangelical church), then he can render them useless in the mission of God.” Lord, let it never be said of me again!
The writer offers extensive apologies for her dullness and ignorance. If there is room in your heart to be like unto her Savior, please forgive her. May his face shine upon you, be gracious unto you, and give you peace. Amen.