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September 28, 1990

Being Paranoid

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All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me. PSALM 56:5
There’s an old saying that goes something like this: You aren’t paranoid if they really are out to get you.
There were times when David, as the heir apparent to the throne of Israel and as the king, sounded paranoid. And maybe there were times when he was unduly concerned about those who were attacking him. Then again, all indications are that David never lacked for enemies. They spread nasty rumors about him. They tried to kill him. They tried to bring him down.
His primary pursuer, however, was King Saul, a man who became so attached to his positional power that he couldn’t distinguish his friends from his enemies. Everyone was out to get him, even those who were not. He had no more loyal servant than David, and yet he became obsessed with bringing David down.
What type of paranoia do you pack in your briefcase? Do you spend your time preparing for battle or fending off attacks from imaginary enemies? Is the person who reports to you scheming to take your place? Is your supervisor stealing your best ideas and plotting to ruin your career?
And, perhaps, most important, if you truly have reasons to be paranoid, what are you doing about it? Are you constantly plotting your defense? Are you building secret alliances to strengthen your power base? Or are you doing what David did: trusting in God?
Psalm 56 describes David being attacked by those who were out to get him, and yet he never declares what he will do to these enemies. Instead, he turns his fears over to his Lord. “In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise—in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:10-11).
Indeed, what can man do to any of us when we put our faith in the Lord?

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