78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.
80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed. [King James Version]
I could follow up on yesterday’s post by focusing on the third verse. It takes the notion that I should live my life so as to be a beacon pointing to the love (rather than fear) of God and expands it to a communal effort. But I won’t.
Instead, I will focus on the second verse. My guess is that we can all empathize with the psalmist’s feeling here. “I have been wrongly screwed over. I hope those (blank) get what they deserve. But… I’m going to take the high road here and not retaliate.” I have no problem relating to the first two thoughts. In fact, I would be willing to wager that, more often than not, the second comes so quickly on the heels of the first that they are almost one thought. The third usually comes after a long period of dreaming how I will get my due. Usually, I eventually come around to deciding to not be dragged down to the level of my antagonist.
But sadly, I must confess there have been times that I have dug in a bit and fought back (never physically, mind you). I have taken verbal jabs at people who piss me off. I take particular delight when I am able to do it subtly enough that they don’t even realize they were just insulted—especially when others around me fully understand what I actually said. I have gotten into flame wars online with people who have trolled my posts or comments on other’s posts. Yep… it feels good in the moment. Yep… when I am the victor a verbal joust, I swell up a little with pride. But in the end, I can never say that I ever truly “win” when I allow myself to be baited into playing dirty.