Saturday, December 5, 2009

What is Honor?, 6

Continued from "What is Honor?, 5"

You should see your honor [correctly] in terms of your integrity and moral purity. That is,


Assuming you see that, how do you defend your integrity against the foul-mouthed orc who defames you? Short answer: you don't, because you can't.

Remember, your honor is not your reputation; it's your character. No low-life can touch your character with his words.

Don't get me wrong. Contrary to the old "sticks & stones" saying, words can and do hurt . . . if you let them.

If you let them. That's the key. The worst insults in the world tend to roll off of people who are secure in who they are.

To complicate the problem, however, the orc who uses words to goad others tends to have a sixth sense when it comes to reading people. His radar will home in on your weakest spot, the thing you fear is true about you but you don't want anyone to see.

With just a word or phrase, this street-Saruman exposes your insecurity in front of strangers & whatever friends and family are with you. It sticks in your craw, and now you have something to prove.

How do you defend against something like that? I think the answer lies in not in physical confrontation (which only adds validity to the accusation), but in the Biblical injunction:

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jas 5:16)

John Calvin comments, "the words clearly mean, that confession is required for no other end, but that those who know our evils may be more solicitous to bring us help." An example may help elucidate the matter.

In the early '80's, I pastored a small group of people trying to plant a church in Pennsylvania. I also worked part-time as a security officer at a local plant where pornographic pictures and magazines abounded.

That filth appealed to the filthiness of my old nature. I found it very tempting. What to do?

I saw two basic choices: 1) follow the leadership dictum of the world (i.e., never show weakness), or 2) follow the advice of James 5:16.

I chose the latter path and mentioned from the pulpit (actually, my pulpit was an old treadle sewing machine) that I would appreciate the prayers of God's people to deliver me from the temptation to look at the pornography which seemed ready to ambush me at so many places in the plant.

That honesty put my weakness out in the open, but it also put the people on my side. The other man in the group later commented about his own struggles to remain pure. This encouraged me in a later pastorate to be open about my weaknesses and even to use my failures in sermon illustrations along with how I was applying the principles of Scripture to overcome those failings.

If you get in the habit of confessing your weaknesses and asking your church & family to pray for you to overcome them, you will be practicing humility. And humility is your one and only defense against the foul-mouthed manipulator who wants to goad you into a fight.

Remember that nothing he says can diminish your integrity one iota. Nor can he expose your insecurities if you have already brought them before God's people for prayer.

Oh, and just for added incentive, this guy wouldn't pick a fight with you if he didn't KNOW he was going to win. He has an ace up his sleeve, somewhere -- a weapon, a gang of buddies . . . something that ensures that he will win.

Bottom line? As a Christian Martialist, strive to be pure in the entirety of your character, like Sir Galahad. But don't hide your shortcomings. Practice humility.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. (Pro 28:13)


The Warrior said...


Is this the end of the series, or will you continue?


Gravelbelly said...

I have a little more to say on the subject, including to address your question. (I haven't forgotten.)

The blog lost another follower today. Evidently some are not getting here what they expected. Nonetheless, I will continue to stand for God's truth, even if I stand alone.

The Warrior said...

Okay. Sounds good. :-)

Seriously? Anyone I know? I hope not.... In the end, it matters not. Just speaking of the internet, I have received much scorn myself.

You won't stand alone, either way.