I hear the whisperings of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce! let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
“Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail,
and take our vengeance on him.”
But the LORD is with me, like a mighty champion:
my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph.
In their failure they will be put to utter shame,
to lasting, unforgettable confusion.
O LORD of hosts, you who test the just,
who probe mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause.
Sing to the LORD,
praise the LORD,
For he has rescued the life of the poor
from the power of the wicked! Jer 20:10-13
This reading struck me very hard this morning. I took a moment to take everything in that I know to be happening in the world, then started working more towards what is going on around me. I don’t know why, this really resonated with me this morning.
I have felt like this many times in my life. When you put hard work and your being into something that you are proud of, whether it be work, school, a project, home life, etc., you do not ever want anyone to be critical of it. When it is something that works out so great and you get recognition or even, in the case of work, a promotion, there are always those that feel slighted. They look for any reason for you to falter. There are countless stories in the Bible about this very subject. We are proud of our hard work and we do not want anyone to ever take that from us.
So, why do we do that to our fellow humans? Knowing that we are all on an adventure, which is our own to have, why do we feel a need to be jealous of someone because of the accomplishments they may have made? Is it because they did it on the backs of your labor and you want to get back at them for it? Is it because you are envious of the attention they are getting? Why do we feel the need to persecute someone for that? Oh, the reasons can be mountainous, and it can fill us with hatred and rage. It is so hard, in those moments, to remember that God has a calling for us to, no matter what that calling is, or the praise that comes behind it. Some people are put in the spotlight for a reason, but just because you are not is no reason to try to bring the people shame, or to watch their every move to catch them in something. What good would come of that? Unless you are talking about someone committing crimes against someone, let that person stand on their own merits, and if they are not doing the right things, it will be exposed on its own.
On the flip side to that, in my job, some days, I feel like everyone is watching my ever move and motive. They seem to be waiting on me to do just one thing improperly, and they seem at the ready to remove all of the work that I have done for the last ten years, in this current career path I am on. Maybe they are, maybe they are not, either way, it really should not matter. No matter what, no one can take away the work that I have done, for good or for bad. I have asked for forgiveness for my mistakes, and from God, that has been granted. From the people I have harmed in any way, that is up to them, and I can not force them. I have asked, and that is all I can do. For the work that I have done for good, no matter what, that can never be erased by anyone, no matter how faulty I may be in this world. People can try, but I will remain.