“sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.”
Have you ever had an opponent? I mean, someone who was just against you? The Greek phrase for “opponent” reads “he who is of the contrary.” Ever known a contrary person? It seems everything you do or say they are against. You just can’t seem to get along. Well, we are going to face those people, and Paul tells us how to deal with them.
It’s pretty simple really. We just speak truth, sound “speech which is beyond reproach.” If we do that, they have “nothing bad to say about us.” They may try, but it’s not true. In fact, then word “nothing” there means not even one. My brother-in-law used to say that means zero with the lid kicked off. I like that.
Boy, oh boy, this is an application to make. Our children are going to have people, friends even, who talk about them. Kids love to talk and tease and criticize. The sooner we prepare our children how to handle those comments, the better off they will be. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That may be a cute phrase, but words can hurt if you don’t know how to handle them.
Here are some tips to handle these opponents:
- Know the truth about you – Teach your kids who they are in Christ. No words from others can change that.
- Know that your opponents are actually Christ’s opponent – He will fight for you. If you stand for Christ, He promises to defend you.
- Know those opponents need Jesus – Just like you before Christ, they are operating out of the flesh and need a Savior.
- Know that truth will prevail – Trust that “the truth will make you free.
There you have it. A few tips for dealing with those contrary folks. It won’t be easy, but they can keep you focused. Perhaps you have a tendency to be contrary. If that is you, listen to the truth of His Word. Let it transform your thinking. There is no victory in opposing Christ. You just can’t win. Submit to Him today and experience of true freedom and rest.
Guard my tongue, O Lord, and let me speak only sound words. Allow the truth spoken through me draw all opponents to You. Protect me as You have promised.