There is a natural defensiveness that arises in any parent’s heart when someone makes a negative comment against that person’s child. We have experienced this emotion on several occasions over the years. When those moments happen, I get defensive. As soon as a comment is made, emotions flare up in my heart. I mean what parent would not immediately jump to protect their child. Our children are our flesh and blood. They are the most precious things we have in the world. When someone negatively criticizes our child, it is personal. The person might as well be attacking us. Certainly, we need to be objective; however, I have yet to meet a parent whose claws don’t come out when someone points a finger at his or her child.
I was chatting with my very insightful wife yesterday. She made an amazing connection to this parent-child relationship which I believe provides tremendous perspective on the issue of gossip, bitterness, and slander. She likened our paternal relationship to that of God’s relationship with people in general. Biblically, we are children of God. Through redemption, we are adopted into a father-child relationship with God. We can call Him Father. In fact, the book of Romans indicates we can call him “Daddy.” This is how close the relationship is between God and us when we are saved. It is absolutely beautiful to think that we can refer to Almighty God in such a fashion. In response, He calls us His sons and daughters. He views us with a deep intimacy similar to how we see our own children. In fact, God has a more potent unconditional love than we do as it is not flawed in any way. So it is fair to say God loves His children far more than how much we love our children.
I wonder then what God’s reaction is when people criticize His children. Think about it. When we slander another person, what do you think God’s emotional reaction is? If someone slandered my children, I would be furious. Is it not fair to say that God’s reaction is similar when one of His children is unfairly judged? Or, what would God’s response be when we gossip about other people behind their back? Imagine walking down the hall. As you get ready to turn a corner you hear voices. One of the voices mentions your child. You stop. Rather than turn the corner, you sit and listen. What would you be thinking if the group of people were gossiping about your child? I personally would lose it. Now, I am not saying God would react in the same way (He is perfect; I am not). However, I have to believe that God gets very upset when people gossip about one of His children. Or, lastly, what if you were chatting with someone and they divulged to you that they are bitter towards your son. I believe our reaction would be “You need to let that go. It is my child. You shouldn’t stay bitter towards them.” God says the same thing to us, “Don’t remain bitter towards one of my children whom I love. You need to let it go. If is a legitimate issue, I will take care of it.”
This insight continues to rattle around in my brain. I find myself remembering to stop short before I think negatively about another person (let alone say something) realizing that this person is God’s child. I would not appreciate an attack on my child so I am absolutely certain God doesn’t like it. We might as well be attacking Him. As for me, this is a powerful reminder to me when that fleshly urge pops up to put down another person down. Rather, it prompts me to build them up. Because conversely, what joy it must be for God as our Heavenly Father when we affirm one of His children. He must love it. I would.