“Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.” –Job 12:5
Lexi trots confidently over any surface on her four paws and doesn’t understand why I sometimes have to tell her to slow down. She has no regard for loose gravel, steep paths, or ice. She doesn’t understand that my balance is precarious. She doesn’t know that I can’t dig in my claws. If I pull back on her leash so I can make my careful way over slippery places, Lexi glances back at me with reproach. Sometimes we do the same thing to other Christians. We walk confidently with God along the path of righteousness, and we don’t understand why someone else may hesitate or be cautious. At the same time, we blame people whose feet slip; we secretly believe they deserve their misfortune. The path of righteousness becomes the path of self-righteousness. Until we stumble. Then we cry, like the psalmist, “Do not let them gloat or exalt themselves over me when my feet slip. For I am about to fall…” (Psalm 38:16-17a). Lexi’s reproach I can bear; from others I hope for mercy.
Dear God, Teach me to show mercy to people whose feet slip. Amen