I’ve learned that I must keep my eyes focused on Jesus. If I don’t? I’m sucked right into all the buzz that is swirling around me. Bo Sterns, ALS widow of Steve Sterns and author of ‘Beautiful Battlefields’, penned it perfectly “there will always be people yelling at you from the cheap seats”.
What I’ve found is the people making the loudest ruckus actually have absolutely nothing to say of any truth or any worth for that matter. They want us to yell back or engage from our home plate. Take our eyes of the prize as it were. Psalm 34:13 tell us to “keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies”. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that we aren’t to tear people down but to use our words to build up.
I remember an acquaintance once asked me about my friends. Se wanted to know why were so close. I explained that we don’t gossip and we pray for one another. “There’s no way. Everyone gossips. What? Do you have prayer list?” I explained that, indeed, we pray for one another whenever and wherever we need too. Sometimes that is out loud or it may be a group text. And, no, we don’t gossip. And, yes, this is the beauty of Godly friendships.
That person who is willing to tell you all the scoop? That “friend” will be the first person to gossip about you when you leave the room. “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness”-Exodus 23:1.
Jesus tells us to look at peoples lives and see if they are fruitful. The people screaming from the cheap seats? Are they angry? Bitter? Can they see beyond themselves? Do they lack compassion? Are they pursuing God or in pursuit of others? Are their branches empty or are they full of fruit?
Any tiny foothold the enemy can get into your life to squelch your testimony? You better believe he will! The bolder the testimony the louder the ruckus and the more ostentatious the the buzz. Ignore the cheap seats. You can pray for the people sitting way up there. Jesus is in the saving business so that we don’t have to be. Hand the spectators over to him.
“Jesus is God, even demons know this”-James 2:19