While I was in the States for my daughter’s graduation, I was able to see Shakespeare’s Macbeth. I have seen the play before, but this time the lesson of it caught my attention.
Macbeth, a loyal and brave general, won the battle against the Thane of Cawdor who had proved disloyal to the king. The king honoured Macbeth by making him the Thane of Cawdor. Before Macbeth got the message, he met three witches in the woods. They called him the Thane of Cawdor and the future king.
When Macbeth returned home, the messengers arrived and he was given the title of Thane of Cawdor. Now “a word” – king – began to control his mind. So consumed was he to be king that he proceeded to kill the king and his friend and others. As the play progresses, you see the mental breakdown of Macbeth’s wife and Macbeth’s driving passion to become king and to remain king. All because he listened to “a word.”
The power of “a word.” Someone will say something to us, and we will let that fill our minds. “A word” will cause us to begin to distrust another person, to fear physical problems, to do things because we are worried about the future. We can become controlled by “a word.” This kind of control will only lead to disaster. In Macbeth’s case, his and his wife’s mental breakdown is well recorded, and many people are killed because of Macbeth’s fight for the throne. An extreme example, but one that should cause us to think.
Proverbs 16:25 gives us warning about this kind of problem.
There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
Another thing to consider when those thoughts come into our minds is found in 2 Corinthians 10:12
For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves
with some of those who commend themselves;
but when they measure themselves by themselves
and compare themselves with themselves,
they are without understanding.
We need to follow the admonition in 2 Corinthians 10:5
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing
raised up against the knowledge of God,
and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ
Instead of being controlled by “a word” from a person, we need to be controlled by the Word, a Person. This Person is Jesus.
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through Him,
and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not comprehend it
When “a word” comes into our minds, we need to take it to Jesus. By prayer and comparing “a word” to the Word of God, we will be able to determine whether to follow the words that are starting to fill our minds. We will know that “a word” is starting to control our minds, when we start to feel anxious, angry, frustrated, hurt, jealous or any of the other emotions that God has said are wrong. When we start to feel those emotions, we need to take the matter to Jesus and let Him take care of it.
We can trust Jesus because He is God, and He never changes. He can only do the best for us. Sometimes it does not look like it is the best, or it looks hard or scary. We need to keep trusting Him, because He will be working to give us the best.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me
Therefore, do not throw away your confidence,
which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance,
so that when you have done the will of God,
you may receive what was promised.
For yet in a very little while,
He who is coming while come, and will not delay.
But my righteous one shall live by faith;
And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction,
but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true,
whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute,
if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise,
dwell on these things.