Vex Much?

Click here to read Psalm 112 on BibleGateway.com

downloadLife is full of little frustrations.  The guy in front of you in line gets the last pudding cup at the deli.  They close your lane at the checkout right when you get to the front.  Those rotten pigs stole your hatchlings again. The roll is empty in your stall.  It’s the little things that make you wanna cash in your chips and become the Hermit of Highway 13.

Well, take comfort, my friend.  The Bible says that your life is a little bit of a burr to others’ saddles as well.  Especially when you succeed.  In Psalm 112, we read how the wicked will be “vexed” when the righteous are blessed.  Vexed.  Now that’s a great word.  Simply stated, people want to see Christians fail, and when they don’t, they get angry.

Leave it to the Bible to rub it in a little.  Not only is this Psalm a little dig at the frustration of those that stand against God, it also uses a form of Hebrew poetry called an acrostic, which means that the first line starts with the letter A, the second with B, and so on (in Hebrew, of course, but you get the idea).  Too clever for you, unrighteous one? Art thou vexed?

Now watch how we turn the tables just…now.

YE OLE BLACK KETTLE

What vexes you?  Are you frustrated when you see other Christians or – dare we say it? – the sinful people in the world succeed? Do you gnash your teeth and hope that they get a kick in the spiritual groin?  Or do you celebrate with them?  When that co-worker, who you know is lazier than a sloth on Labor Day, gets that promotion and the credit for your work, do you congratulate them?  Or do you mutter to anyone within earshot about how mistreated you are?

Sometimes we believe that as long we don’t give anyone a richly deserved throat-punch, that we are therefore righteous.  But if we claim to follow Jesus, the bar is higher for us.  Not only do we have to endure the unfairness of life, we have to share in the joy of those who gain at our expense. We have to actually be joyful when they come out ahead.

I GOTCHER BURNING COALS RIGHT HERE

The New Testament tells us to pray for our enemies; do good to those who treat us like dirt.  Not get back at them, not vent our anger in a healthy way, not make sure that everyone knows how mistreated we are, not even ignore them.  We have do good to them. And be happy about it.

Is there anything harder?  Yet the Bible says if we do, we will heap burning coals on their head.  If we treat people kindly, even when they clearly deserve a weekend with the Rack instead, then we show Christ’s love in the world.  That may draw people to a life with Him; it may even gain us a friend instead of building another enemy.

And if we can vex someone in the process, all the better.

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