For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
My God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for people who are wicked and deceitful have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.
The proverb says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords…” (Proverbs 12:18). Ever been pierced? Ever been run through? Ever been the subject of gossip or slander? Ever been verbally attacked without cause? Ever been the recipient of a social media slam? Ever had a friend turn on you? You are not alone.
David was going through a rough time of caustic criticism. His associates were fabricating lies about him. They were condemning him for no good reason. David felt that his expression of friendship had been returned with harsh allegations.
Notice David’s response, “I am a man of prayer.” David could not respond to every reckless word, but he could give all of his hurt, frustration, and anger to God. What should be our response to unjust criticism? Charging to engage in verbal battle is not the answer. Retreating in prayer is. Let God devise the best plan of action and follow Him in carrying it out.
Father, my knee-jerk reaction to criticism is to strike back. Forgive me. Help me retreat in prayer. Help me clearly hear the steps that You want me to take. Help me to be a person of prayer. In Jesus’ name. Amen.