Meditation on Psalm 119:77-78
Let Your mercy come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight. Let the insolent be put to shame because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on Your precepts.
Growing up my mom used to tell me, “It takes two to fight,” when arguments broke out among my siblings and me. She was trying to teach me that I bear some of the responsibility for the discord. Even if they were attacking me unjustly I was accountable for my response. I thank God for a good godly mother that was responding to me biblically. She was using the tender mercy that the Psalmist calls on God to have for him in verse 77. That gut feeling of compassion that a parent has for their child. A good English equivalent would be having “a heart of compassion”. That mercy doesn’t just protect, but also points out flaws and ways to improve through rebuking and teaching.
In these two verses the Psalmist comes to God asking for His parental help in how to get along with others, particularly one who is proud, treating him badly with no reason, and even lied about him. When his world is turned upside down by the insolent, what is his solution? He shifts his attention from himself to the God he loves. His delight goes to the Lord and His law. He begins to meditate on scripture.
Jesus told us in Matthew 22:39 that we are to, “Love Your neighbor as you love yourself”. Paul encourages us in Romans 12:18, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Nice to read but a bit harder to put into practice. Colossians 3:12-13 tells us to, “Put on mercy, kindness, humility, meekness and longsuffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Ouch! That was a command.
As believers we are commanded in difficult relationships to remember who we were before Christ called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light and then treat those that we have a complaint against (even a legitimate complaint) as Jesus has treated us.
This week as you head off to work with impossible co-workers or share the roadways with people who make questionable choices or sit down to an extended family meal with people who feel more like sandpaper than a loving picture perfect family, let’s adjust our focus from ourselves and onto the One who deserves our worship. Let’s be dressed in our Colossians 3:12 virtues. Let’s run to God with our complaints. Let’s meditate and delight in His word. Let’s remember who we once were and the amazing grace extended to us and maybe let a bunch of that grace spill over onto those who are difficult for us to love.