Think back to grade school. If from the early years you can’t identify another kid in your class who was the class tattletale, I will lay odds; the class tattletale was you. Every class has a tattletale. It’s the kid who tells the teacher of every infraction of class and playground rules, no matter how minor. The one who could be counted to point the finger, boldly and loudly stating, “It was her!” or “Jonny, did it.”
The kid in my class was Lynette. I still remember her name, though I doubt she remembers mine. She had the teacher’s ear. She was the teacher’s second set of eyes. It was a self-appointed position. She would tattle on anyone. Throw the ball at someone’s head at recess and you could be sure it was instantly reported by Lynette. It didn’t matter if the teacher didn’t catch you breaking the rule, if Lynette saw you, the whole class would know of the transgression.
During second grade another class-mate brought a Donald Duck comic book to school. It was entitled, Moby Duck. I looked at it and said, in my nerd way, “It’s really Moby Dick.” The ‘K” sound was barely out of my mouth and to Lynette’s ear, by the time she was yelling at Miss Mosbo to let her know I had said a dirty word. Keep in mind, growing up; “Gee” was a curse word at my house. In second grade, I could count the Dicks I knew on one hand, there were 2: the one running with Jane and the whale. I looked at Miss Mosbo and told her what I said. She looked at Lynette and told her to sit down. It took me a few more years to figure out what I could have possibly said that was offensive.
As annoying as Lynette was, as deflating as hearing her voice could be, she was honest, at least in her mind. She didn’t make stuff up, at the same time she was sure nothing was going to be missed. Fortunately, there was usually someone in class sticking up for the one at the end of Lynette’s finger.
I’ve told this story to bring those feelings to mind. Ever been the one at the end of tattletale’s finger? Not a great feeling, deserved or undeserved. In this elementary school we call life, we have a teacher. It’s God. There is also the class tattle tale, it’s Satan. Fortunately, there is a person in class that ALWAYS has our back, that’s Jesus.
The story of Job is probably a familiar story. In Job 1:6 Satan comes before God and essentially tells God that Job only loves Him because God has blessed Job with all kinds of stuff. The person missing in Job’s story is Jesus, since He had not come to earth to die for our sins.
Satan came to God to accuse Job of not loving God, just liking God. Satan comes before God to point out Job’s inadequacies. Satan is called the “accuser of the brethren.” Satan still plays that role today. Satan is the tattletale running to God so God can know what a pathetic mess you are and how silly God is for loving you.
Sometimes, it’s your own voice you hear tattling to God about how “I am not________ “ or “I’m too _______.” I will admit I don’t always need an accuser outside of myself. You probably don’t either. That’s why Romans 8:33-34 is so powerful! I really like how The Message records what’s happening in heaven now:
And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen?
Who would dare even to point a finger?
The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.
(Romans 8:33-34 MSG)
You see, not even the class tattletale picks on the teacher’s pet!
That is what the believer is; the Teacher’s pet! Now when Satan comes to God to point the finger at you, Jesus is right there sticking up for you, reminding God of the sacrifice He made to redeem you. Jesus becomes your advocate and your defender.
As difficult as it may be, listen to your defender!
I have to remind myself of that often. I am painfully aware of my faults. I know the areas that need improvement. When those things become my focus, when it’s the voice of condemnation I hear, I have to make myself listen for the voice of my Defender. He paid the price to take away my sin. He paid the price to buy back me when I was lost. He sent His Holy Spirit to accomplish in my life what I can’t do on my own.
What a savior! Thank you, Jesus, for having my back for paying the price and sticking up for me. Help me never to take for granted the sacrifice You made and the love You have for me. Help me listen for Your voice.