I was talking by the time I was eight months old. I have been trying to get the last word ever since. My parents would say one thing, and, without fail, I would always have a response as if they needed the perspective of a child to help them make a better decision. I always had to interject my perspective into the situation. Some things never change.
I was always popping off, trying to convince my parents to see my side, pointing out the flaws in their thinking or just generally being disrespectful. But it didn’t matter because ultimately I never had the last word as long as I was under the roof of my parents.
As for our vertical relationship with Jesus, it works in a similar manner. These kids down here will pop off. The world will always have an opinion. We personally will deal in lies. Regardless of what the world, our peers or even our own minds have to say, Jesus gets the last word. Under his roof, what He says goes.
Look at Romans 8:31-34
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
God is the one who has declared us to be in right standing with Him, and He is the only one who has the authority to do so. No one has the right to condemn us, and we need to really abide in that truth in this day and age.
If you don’t believe that, just look around. It’s heartbreaking to see the way that people, each made in God’s image, interact with each other. When we fail to see eye-to-eye with each other, our initial inclination is often to discredit the other person by name calling and stigmatizing. If you’re too conservative you’re bigoted, narrow-minded and stupid. If you’re too liberal you’re immoral, hypocritical and illogical.
It’s so easy to get beat down by the opinions that are flying around our culture. Thanks to the plethora of information at our fingertips, we can learn how stupid we are with just a few keystrokes. It feels like we need to develop the skin of an elephant every time we go into the world or hop online, or we will be eaten alive.
Speaking from experience, the condemnation and negative talk doesn’t end when you withdraw. I can be harder on myself than anyone. I have a way of remembering things that others don’t and then heaping condemnation on myself for situations that have been long since forgotten by others or situations that haven’t even happened. I feed myself lies and pile on shame and condemnation.
But Jesus gets the last word. When He has every right and reason to convict and condemn, He loves and lifts up. He doesn’t put out a smoldering wick. We abide in the fact that The Lord has spoken and decided who we are and where we stand.
The rest of the noise has to be blocked out. Why should we give any relevance to the words of fallen man, be it ourselves or others, when the God who used His words to speak creation into existence says we are loved, righteous and forgiven?
So try this: if a thought or comment doesn’t align with what The Lord would have to say, then just let it roll off you. Test everything. Hold onto what is true. Under God’s roof, he has the final say. And that is great news for us.