55. SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS?
The Faith Forum Series -Batch 3)
I have found over the years that you don’t need to worry, fret, fuss or fight back when someone badmouths you, gossips about you, does something unkind to you or something that was deliberately calculated to hurt or injure you, your name or how you are perceived by others. You don’t even need to bother yourself with the details of it or even that they did it secretly and surreptitiously behind your back.
Here is why:
If the person does it and gets away ‘scot-free’ as they say, then what that means, according to Hebrews 12:7-8 is that HE OR SHE IS A BASTARD.
This means that he or she is not considered by God to be one of his children. If God leaves a person to do whatever he or she likes without consequences, then it means that that person has not yet been redeemed, is still outside of the righteous covering of Jesus Christ and still on the road to hell. That is a sad state of affairs to be in and in such a situation, such a person is deserving of my sympathy. For, they are in the clutches of satan and given that he hates me because I am accepted in the beloved and dearly loved of God, it is not surprising that he would get his minions, who he controls, to come after me and to try to attack me. He is on the losing side though and all his children are therefore on this same side. The battle they wage therefore, no matter how aggressive is not one that can be sustained. They will not win but will be ashamed. For I am more than a conqueror through Christ that loves me.
If on the other hand, THE TROUBLEMAKER IS A CHILD OF GOD, then all the more reason not to do anything in retaliation or in defence.
For, in such a case (and this I learned from my own painful experiences), the devil will use what the troublemaker did or said to create pandemonium in that very person’s life AND God will punish that person’s little behind, much like a parent spanks a small child for misbehavior. God’s children never get away with it, as God ALWAYS finds a way (if they don’t repent and confess it to him), to deal with them. This is called chastening and I have found, that even when a person repents and confesses, God forgives but sometimes still decides to mete out some kind of punishment for the wrongdoing.
When people do you wrong therefore, especially if they are Christians, it ALWAYS comes back to bite them in the behind, as they say. Some call this ‘karma’, others call it ‘poetic justice’ but it is not any of those things. It is the RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT of the true and living God.
The funny thing is they do what they do to try to hurt or harm you and to negatively influence how others perceive you. Sometimes they succeed but the ‘reward’ they get in return for what they sowed is usually very painful.
I have learned (from my own experiences as well when I spoke badly of others), that God has a way of knowing just what buttons to push when it comes to disciplining his children. He knows just what to withhold or where to place them or what conditions to allow them to go through, to ensure punishment and his methods are…let’s just say, not exactly lenient.
He does not do it for the pleasure of it. He does it to bring them to their knees in repentance and confession, so that they will not do it anymore. God still loves his rebellious children.
If you are one of God’s children but are facing something really horrible in your life and you find yourself asking: Why is this happening to me? Why isn’t he answering my prayer? Why did he see it fit to bless him or her with that and not me? it could be for one of several reasons and I am not in a position to say which one it is. However, make sure and ask yourself honestly, whether you have been a troublemaker or have meddled in someone’s business or said something injurious, unkind, mischievous, divisive, bitter or wicked against someone or done any sort of wrong to any person with your thoughts, your actions and especially your tongue.
James 3:8 states that “…the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” However, that tongue can be a deadly weapon in more ways than one. For, not only does it damage the one it is leveled against but it causes its own owner to also receive blows, when he or she is judged of the Lord.
If you have examined your life and actions and found that you have done people wrong, did you ever repent of it and confess it to God and stop doing it? If not, then maybe you should and quickly because what you thought you were doing to someone else, may have very well amounted to self-inflicted wounds.
When I say repent, I don’t mean just shrug at it and say, “God I did this. Now can we move on?” Oh no. I mean having genuine, godly sorrow for your wrong, humbling yourself before God, pouring out your heart before him and being very, very sorry for what you did, not because you are suffering as a result of it but because you recognize how wicked a thing it was.
It is important for you to realize that:
- A little chatter here and there about someone’s affairs,
- a little spreading of some bad news you heard about someone to another (because it feels so good and makes you feel important and above them),
- a little giving of your opinion in criticism or condemnation of someone to another and without sufficient facts,
- a little unkind comment or statement to cause just a little bit of hurt or a little bit of friction or trouble or injury or contention,
- a little bit of ridicule of someone or the manipulation of a situation, so that you appear good and the person of which you spoke appears bad and evil to others,
- a little bit of wickedness (because you are having a bad day and someone needs to feel as badly as you feel),
- a little bit of complaint about someone here and there (because you feel justified or are self-righteous or have embraced bitterness or want to hurt them just as much as they hurt you because you refuse to forgive)
- or a little bit of subtle nastiness (oh…did she get that?) in your conversation or actions to someone,
can result in serious wounds…to YOURSELF.
It is much like a yo-yo. You pelt it forth with vigour and it comes right back at you. The harder you pelt it, the greater the impact of what is returned to you.
So why would you damage yourself and your future like that? You are hindering your own advancement, your own prosperity, your own healing and your own blessings, not the person or the people you are trying your very best to inflict the damage upon.
I don’t know about you but I do not like feeling stuck in life. I have experienced it on more than one occasion and it wasn’t pretty. I am tired of that and I want to make REAL progress. I had a weakness of complaining about what people did to me to others, when I was provoked. I also enjoyed gossip and hearing a bit of bad news here and there. However, I DECIDED that I wanted the blessings of the Lord to flow upon me and all around me, not his judgment. I therefore had to take stock of my life, make some serious decisions to put away evil-speaking and mindless chatter, while asking him for strength to obey and pursue what is right.
No I don’t want to know what she did. No I don’t want to hear what happened to him. No I don’t want to know about how she lambasted my character and with whom. No I don’t want to discuss the bad thing that took place to so and so yesterday or what he or she did to you or to hear of how you suffered. I want to spend time in my Word and I want to grow as a Christian, both spiritually and naturally.
It is certainly not easy. The temptation still comes and sometimes I still find myself slipping back occasionally but I am determined to avoid ALL gossip, badmouthing, spreading news, focusing on the affairs and woes of others (when I should be focusing on getting ahead in my own life) and discussing what is none of my business with others.
God expects my speech to be circumspect and that is my daily goal. This sometimes requires me to walk away when a handful of people gather to defame or speak evil of someone’s character or someone tries to draw me into that web of ill-speaking on the phone. They may think it strange because gossiping and saying malicious things about others has become such a norm but I am thinking that I need to please my heavenly Father and I need to move ahead in this life. They can stay stuck if they want to. It’s their CHOICE but I need to move forward!
I have realized a long time ago, that the God we are dealing with means business. He ‘does not play’, as they say. He means what he says and he says what he means. In his Word the Bible, he has made it clear that whatever I sow, I am most definitely going to reap, so in my dealings with others and no matter the circumstance or who started what, I must sow seeds of kindness, patience, love, forgiveness, mercy and sound speech that cannot be condemned.
Whatever I say, I like to support it with scripture because God’s Word does not lie. Below are some of the scriptures upon which this entire Article is based. They confirm what I’ve been saying about SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS. That is, that when we speak badly about others, we inflict wounds on our own selves because whatever bad seeds we sow, WE reap the harvest:
- The wicked have drawn out the sword and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy and to slay such as be of upright conversation. Their sword shall enter into their own heart and their bows shall be broken.” (Psalm 37:14-15)
- “Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” (Psalm 7:14-16)
- “The wicked plotteth against the just and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.” (Psalm 37:13)
- “But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.” (Colossians 3:25)
- “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:10)
- “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” (Proverbs 5:22)
- “They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way and be filled with their own devices.” (Proverbs 1:31)
- “The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken. The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. (Psalm 9:15-16)
- “And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea the Lord our God shall cut them off. (Psalm 94:23)
- “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
- “Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.” (Proverbs 6:14-15)
- “Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep. But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away. And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.” (Psalm 64)
- “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood. An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6 :16-19)
- “And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull. Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, a woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died…Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.” (Judges 9:53-57)
- “Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.” (Psalm 50:20-23)
I will be honest: While typing the third to last verses above of the things that the Lord hates, I broke down and cried before the Lord in repentance because although I had confessed to the Lord months ago about the wicked things I had said and gossiped about others and to others, I saw again the magnitude of my wrong in terms of how I had used my tongue recklessly over the years.
What we say as Christians is such a serious issue with serious consequences, yet the use of the tongue in ways that are not glorifying to God and for the sake of entertainment, is so prevalent among the church today. It has become the normal way of doing things. We meet up in person or on the phone and we say whatever we feel like about others and no wonder so many of us are praying and getting no answers from the Lord. No wonder there is minimal or no revival. We are not waiting on God. God is waiting on us.
Finally, Psalm 109 can appear to be brutal and downright scary when you read the prayer that David prayed. His whole prayer was based on the principle of people being repaid by God for doing wrong against others. Of course we cannot pray like that because we must practice forgiveness and pray for and bless our enemies.
However, the prayer still depicts how serious of an issue it is when you do somebody wrong, especially if that person is a child of God. Such actions are self-inflicted wounds, some of which could even be deadly!
No wonder God tells us to pray for those who despitefully use us and persecute us. They think that they are being smart, especially if they have us fooled as being someone that genuinely cares. Gossipers usually take pride in their ability to deceive but they forget that God sees and knows all. Human beings may be gullible but he is not. Their reward is so sure, that what we are praying really for is that God would be merciful to them when he is ready to punish them and deliver them from being used as instruments by the devil.
Here is what David prayed in Psalm 109:1-20 and 29:
- “Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow. Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places. Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour. Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.
- Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the Lord; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. Let them be before the Lord continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth. Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart. As he loved cursing, SO LET IT COME UNTO HIM: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him. As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, SO LET IT COME INTO HIS BOWELS LIKE WATER, and like oil into his bones. Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.
- Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the Lord, and of them that speak evil against my soul…Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and LET THEM COVER THEMSELVES WITH THEIR OWN CONFUSION, as with a mantle.”
(Written on 9th May, 2016, added to thereafter)
Dear Reader, of course in today’s modern society, gossiping extends to what we do with our fingers as well, not just our lips. What we type and write to others via WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook or through any other medium, can also be categorized as gossip.
If you found the above Article to be informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 15 – ‘Why The Enemy’s Attack Is My Cue To Sing’
- Note 21 – Dear Fellow Saints
- Note 49 – ‘Claiming The Promises of God – Part 1’
- Note 50 – ‘Claiming The Promises of God – Part 2’
- Note 51 – ‘I Know The Plans I Have For You…’
- Note 52 – ‘The Sins Of The Tongue’
- Note 53 – The Sins Of The Tongue – Reloaded’
- Note 54 – ‘Taming The Tongue – What The Bible Says About Gossip’
- Note 59 – ‘I Will Trust God With My Enemies’
- Note 61 – ‘Are You Putting Yourself In The Line Of Fire?’
- Note 97 – ‘Seven (7) Mindsets That Will Keep You Stuck In The Land Of Sterility’
- Note 107 – ‘I’ve Got No Time To Mind Anybody’s Business’
- Note 148 – ‘Just One Thing May Be Holding You Back’
- Note 149 – Suffering? Bad Attitudes That Will Only Make It Worse’