Protecting our conscience from the little foxes
Life has its ups and downs, and no one is exempt from struggling every now and then. We’ve heard that how we react to situations is a key to how much peace we can maintain and I certainly believe this is a nugget of wisdom. For example, when someone disrespects us, it is common to allow insult to progress into being offended. However, these are times within our journey of learning to pray and ask God to help us look past our pain and direct our focus and trust on Him. I admit this is difficult to do because when we are wounded and trying to deal with damaged emotions, it seems we cannot think of anything else other than how we feel. Nonetheless, it’s possible to take these times of discouragement and not only use them as a ladder to help us climb out of our pit of sadness but to actually rise to a higher level of peace and contentment.
In the Song of Solomon chapter two, the Shulamite women and the king are in love, and their dialogue is a beautiful expression of romance. In verse 15, she mentions about how the little foxes ruin the grape vines by chewing on them and eventually hinders the ability to make wine. To make a long story short, the foxes represent frustrations and aggravations while the vines are symbolic of our relationships, especially with God. She is trying to warn her future husband the importance of keeping their emotions in check by being aware of negative forces that will attempt to impede their marriage. This is not only true within the home, but in all relationships and situations, as the story reminds us that the foxes may be small, but many times it’s the little things that cause huge consequences. When others take advantage of us and do not appreciate what we do, instead of wasting our emotional energy pouting and having a negative attitude, we can be much more effective by taking these burdens to the Lord in prayer.
In the book of Ephesians, we are given the explanation about our spiritual armor and if we notice, the helmet and breastplate are given to protect our mind and heart from the dangerous arrows of words. The enemy of our soul loves to use words against us because he knows how much damage they can inflict. When we are confronted with negative circumstances, we are tempted to absorb this agony within our soul, which in turn triggers our response mechanism to unleash a flood of pessimistic reactions. Unfortunately, anger and sadness from rejection have literally ruined many people’s lives. Whatever emotional pain you are going through today, please realize that God wants the best for you. Guard and protect your conscience from the irritating distractions of hurtful words and embrace the absolute truth of His promises. He loves and respects you and will never fail to take care of you.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. To learn more visit: billyhollandministries.com.