* Dealing with abuse, verbal
At times we may be surrounded by people who gossip about us or criticize us. Verbal cruelty can damage us as badly as physical abuse. Rather than answering with hateful words, we, like David, can talk with God about the problem. (NLT)
Psalm 57:4 – I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey–whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords.
* – David’s firm faith in God contrasted sharply with his enemies’ loud lying and boasting. When confronted with verbal attacks, the best defense is simply to be quiet and praise God, realizing that our confidence is in his love and faithfulness. In times of suffering; don’t run inward to self-pity or outward to revenge, but turn upward to God. (NLT)
Psalm 57:7 – My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises
* Shouldn’t abuse what God has made
In opposition to the false teachers, Paul affirmed that everything God created is good. We should ask for God’s blessing on his created gifts that give us pleasure and thank him for them. This doesn’t mean that we should abuse what God has made (for example, gluttony abuses God’s gift of good food, lust abuses God’s gift of love, and murder abuses God’s gift of life). Instead of abusing, we should enjoy these gifts by using them to serve and honor God. Have you thanked God for the good gifts he has given? Are you using the gifts in ways pleasing to you and to God?
James 4:4-5 – Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it. We may receive it gladly, with thankful hearts. For we know it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
* Don’t abuse your possessions
The women of Judah had placed their emphasis on clothing and jewelry rather than on God. They dressed to be noticed, to gain approval, and to be fashionable. Yet they ignored the real purpose for their lives. Instead of being concerned about the oppression around the, they were self-serving and self-centered. People who abuse their possessions will end up with nothing. These verses are not an indictment against clothing and jewelry, but a judgment on those who use them lavishly while remaining blind to the needs of others. When God blesses you with money or position, don’t flaunt it. Use what you have to help others, not impress them. (NLT)
Isaiah 3:16-26 – Next the Lord will judge the women of Jerusalem, who walk around with their noses in the air, with tinkling ornaments on their ankles. Their eyes rove among the crowds, flirting with the men. The Lord will send a plague of scab s to ornament their heads. Yes, the Lord will make them bald for all to see!
The Lord will strip away their artful beauty—their ornaments, headbands, and crescent necklaces; their earrings, bracelets, and veils of shimmering gauze. Gone will be their scarves, ankle chains, sashes, perfumes, and charms; their rings, jewels, party clothes, gowns, capes, and purses; their mirrors, linen garments, head ornaments, and shawls. Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, they will stink. They will wear ropes for sashes, and their well-set hair will fall out. They will wear rough sackcloth instead of rich robes. Their beauty will be gone. Only shame will be left to them.
The men of the city will die in battle. The gates of Jerusalem will weep and mourn. The city will be like a ravaged woman, huddled on the ground.
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