Isn’t that the truth? But it’s oh, so hard.
A person who doesn’t feel the need to defend herself is someone who has complete and utter security in the Lord. Someone who knows she’s a daughter of the king, righteous, and accepted. Someone full of grace and power and position.
I want to be that person.
All too often, I’m quick to defend, quick to justify—even if only in my head.
And when I do open my mouth to share my defense, I usually end up adding a line or two that I regret.
The root of defensiveness is insecurity, and the root of insecurity is a missing or mistaken identity.
We’ve misidentified who God is—and who He says we are.
Over and over again, the Word tells us He is our defender, our protector, our shield, our salvation. He is our refuge, our hiding place, our strong tower, our shelter.
He never asked us to self-protect.
He might give us wisdom to set boundaries. And certainly He’s asked us to guard our hearts, which is an action on our part.
But overwhelmingly in Scripture, we see that He is the one who fights for us (Exodus 14:14), who places a shield around us (Psalm 3:3), who hems us in, behind and before (Psalm 139:5).
Right now, there’s so much noise in the world, so many people trying to tell their side of the story.
Sometimes all we need to do is listen. And in listening, we find empathy and compassion and a capacity to love as Christ does.
My parents were big on having us memorize Bible verses when we got in trouble. These two have stayed with me (maybe because most of my tallies in elementary school were for talking J):
“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life” (Proverbs 13:3).
“Whoever restrains his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19).
We don’t have to open our mouths every time we feel threatened by what someone else says. We don’t have to give our opinion just because someone has a different one. And we don’t always have to defend our position. Because, let’s face it, sometimes we are wrong.
And sometimes, even when we’re right, we might win in the long run by listening first.
So, let’s be prudent, life-preserving people who walk in the security and confidence of our Christ-given identity and who bring life and joy to the world around us.