Job. Defined.

I don’t have a warm personal enemy left. They’ve all died off. I miss them terribly because they helped define me. (Clare Boothe Luce, who was beautiful, witty, and fantastically accomplished. Sigh.)

For our purposes here, let’s define “enemy” this way: 1) anyone who is consistently vexatious, disagreeable, infuriating or 2) who seems to take adverse pleasure in staking out the opposing view. They’re like pepper up the nose.

My mother was born in Arkansas and her family moved to California, rather Grapes of Wrath style, in the 1940s. I was always fascinated by the language of her kinfolk. Being certain about something, (which my maternal grandmother ALWAYS was) meant being “sure as shootin.” If you should be ignored, they would “pay you no never mind.” Perhaps it was because you were “mean as all get out.”

This grandmother, by the way, if provoked by an annoying bluejay disturbing the peace of their doublewide up on the hill, would calmly go to the closet, take out the shotgun, walk out back, and blow the bird clean out of the scrub oak.

But I digress.

Perhaps Job’s friends were simply warm, personal enemies. Their goading helped him process his relationship with God. Their snarkiness provoked him to keep talking, thinking, resisting.

Perhaps they functioned something like personal trainers. I hear about them from women in our church. Hard taskmasters in resistance training who MAKE you do hundreds of lunges, lift unliftable weights, swing bags of sand around for . . . some reason, run in place for-ever!

But the girls keep returning to the gym for more pain. And muscle-building.

I love the way Job keeps gritting his teeth and hanging on.                                                              

I will never admit you are in the right. Till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it. 27:5-6

So there, all you warm, personal enemies. Be mean as all get out. In your irritating way, you are helping provide clarity. Making it more certain that God’s up to something.

Sure as shootin’.

How have “enemies” or “resistance” in your life helped define you?


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Erin Smith on May 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Ha! Like pepper up the nose! I love it… People who say “there is no God” have driven me to find the proof in scripture, and in doing so provide clarity to myself… Also, when my kids make me feel “mean as all get out”, God seems to use this as a way to speak to my heart about the rearranging of my priorities.


  2. Great blog sister Debra. You are sure in your element…yep, sure as shootin! 🙂 ( I love your maternal grandmother! ).
    Btw, I’m steering clear of “resistance” in my life for a little bit. I’ve got all the definition I can handle for now. 🙂

    Love you!


  3. Posted by Matt Lesley on May 15, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Ummm…I think you must mean me, the hard taskmaster. I’m proud to say that I have the finest, most committed clients(including your women). It is my honor to provoke them to greatness. I love this today! Excellent message. I’ve found that by surrounding myself with people who are willing and unafraid to hold me accountable, I draw closer to God, become a better husband, father and friend. These are my warm enemies and I love them for it.


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