Permission Denied – Proverbs 18:21

Wake Up Call

Wasn’t it Eleanor Roosevelt who gave us this great bit of wisdom: “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission”? I was thinking about that lately regarding a lady I know who has taken a great deal of verbal abuse from her husband. Finally she has removed herself from the situation, but she is still shell shocked and numb.

The Bible says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). His tongue has been an instrument of death to her for almost all the years she has been married to him. Gradually over time, her confidence was eroded. She came to blame herself though there was no reason to feel she had done anything wrong. If only she could try harder or be more understanding … somehow things would get better.

Now that he has lost his control over her he has admitted that when they dated he hid the monster inside himself from her view. He knew she would leave and never marry him. Still, while conceding that he is the one with the problem, he can’t help himself from trying to continue to lob negative missiles at her during phone conversations.

“You can’t make it on your own.” “You can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.” But she is wizened now. She knows it isn’t true because she is seeing herself make it on her own. God’s grace is increasing in her daily. She is starting a new life which is a little scary but also a wonderfully challenging adventure. Finally she is able to say: PERMISSION DENIED.