Prayer: Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Reading: Psalm 25:1-10 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: There is now a penalty in the National Football League, much to the chagrin of many fans, called “taunting.” It is a usually a subjective call made by the officials, and is called when one player stands over the opposition while the opposition is on the ground, spikes the ball aggressively in the direction of the opposition, or performs any other act that could be seen to provoke the other team unnecessarily. This is a serious penalty and results in a 15-yard assessment on the offending team.
That’s the image I see when I read, “Do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.” Probably none of us like to be put down. Even the ancient Hebrews experienced that. David turned to God for help with this one.
We can’t really control other people’s behavior. We can’t keep them from exulting over us or putting us down. What we can control is how we react to being put down. There was once a sign in my office that said, “Nobody can make me feel inferior without my permission.” Stick anything you want in for “inferior.” Today the word is “put down.” Nobody can make you feel put down without your permission.” What I’m trying to say is, if someone exults over you or tries to put you down, just don’t participate. If you don’t take the bait, you won’t be put down.
Remembering that even David struggled with this can help us, I think, to know God’s ways when someone taunts us. Just don’t participate.
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