Did anyone ever tell you that you were a “Nag”?
Did anyone ever make you feel like you were a bother to them?
Did you ever wonder if there was something wrong with you because you wanted the right thing to be done and other people wanted to ignore the situation?
Did a man ever insult you for wanting too much out of life or him?
Were you left with the impression that your personality was too strong or you were too pushy?
When you were trying to resolve a problem were you every told, “Stop causing trouble and let me alone?”
Did you ever have to fight for what you needed even though others thought you were overreacting?
If you can say “Yes” to any of these questions, than you can identify with the woman in one of Jesus’ parables.
Luke 18:1-8 tells the story of the persistent widow.
Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”
The persistent widow had an enemy. We don’t know who or what her enemy was, but we know that she needed justice to stand up for her to help her overcome her enemy. So, she went to the judge for help. He kept putting her off. We would call it ignoring her. He saw her as a bother. He kept hoping she would go away. That didn’t stop the woman. She knew what she needed and had the tenacity to keep going to him until he helped her.
This woman was a vulnerable widow who needed the judge’s help against her enemy. Being a widow she was probably afraid of her enemy. Yet, she was a strong woman because she had the strength to keep returning to the judge. She didn’t let her pride get in the way. Nobody else had to walk in her shoes. She knew what she needed and did what she had to do to get it. She was persistent. She had tenacity and endurance.
Notice: Jesus did not put this woman down. He saw her persistence and tenacity as good qualities. In fact, Jesus says He would help her and help her quickly. He didn’t make fun of her or criticize her. Instead, He praised her and used her persistence as an example of how we should be in our prayer life. What a different attitude than the judge! Here are 2 different men handling the same woman and her problem.
1. Saw her as a problem. 2. Felt like she was bothering him. 3. Got annoyed because she kept bringing her need to him to fix. 4. He acted disgusted with her. 5. He refused to help her until he couldn’t stand her anymore. 6. He said she was wearing him out by being such a nag. Jesus:
1. Saw her good qualities and praised her for them. 2. Didn’t criticize or make fun of her. 3 Saw that her need was genuine and heard her heart. 4. Had compassion toward her. 5. Quickly helped her. As a woman who has experienced many men like the judge, I love Jesus’ attitude. He didn’t see her as a problem. In fact, He saw her as the exact opposite.
This woman had a legitimate problem that needed attention. As a widow, she didn’t have any power to help herself. She needed help and went to this one person who could help her.
She’s wise. She’s persistent. She’s strong, capable, and not afraid to keep asking until she is heard. She knows what she needs and will fight to get it. She wasn’t the kind of woman who took “no” for an answer.
She is her own person; unafraid to stand for what is right. Jesus doesn’t say that she is out of line or wrong. Instead, Jesus used her as an example because of her beautiful inner qualities. For many of us, this is a new point of view. I know it is for me.
When I was growing up and even into my early twenties, I have not had a lot of experience with men who see women the way that Jesus does. In fact, even recently I had an experience that left me wondering “Is there something wrong with me? Am I a nagging, difficult woman?”
To understand the situation, you have to understand that I am an intensely organized person. I keep intricate records of documents and bills. Recently, a letter came in the mail that said we owed several hundred dollars. I knew this was inaccurate and I had the documentation to prove it. The problem was that there was a middle man who hadn’t done his job properly. In order to resolve the situation, I had to get him to do his part.
Needless to say, he was not impressed with my organization skills. To the contrary, he was angry that I questioned him and when I had to keep pursuing the topic until it was resolved, he blamed the situation on me.
Although the matter was ultimately resolved, I came out sincerely questioning my personality. Was I too intense? Was I the type of woman that men cannot stand because I am too pushy and difficult? The pain in my heart sent me to my knees. Was this how God saw me, too?
After much prayer, I came to the conclusion that the problem was not me. I searched my heart and analyzed my actions, but I didn’t feel I was wrong. Like the woman in this parable, I was fighting for what was right. If a man cannot handle this or is intimidated by this, than it is his problem.
This parable confirms this. Jesus didn’t criticize her for what she did. He praised her strength, persistence and fighting for what is right. Jesus isn’t like the judge, He loves women and wants us to be the strongest, best people that we can be.
He is not intimidated by strong woman. He loves them and encourages them to use the qualities He gave them for His glory. If I am following God and allowing the Holy Spirit to mold and shape my character, than it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks. Those who criticize need to allow the Holy Spirit to deal with the issues in their lives. I need to follow God and be who He made me. If that means standing up for what is right, being persistent and tenacious, then so be it. Maybe God is allowing these difficulties in my life to make me stronger. I need to keep my eyes on Him and how He feels about me and stop judging myself through the eyes of men.
This lesson applies to all women who are following God. Don’t allow anyone to squelch the character traits that God has developed inside of you.
Follow the widow’s example and do what is right fearlessly.
Fix your eyes on Jesus.
Follow Him wholeheartedly.
Be the woman that He made you to be and walk through the circumstances that He brings into your life. Be strong! Be courageous! Be persistent!
Be the jewel God made you to be!
To Read More About Jesus, and how He feels about you, read, "Finding Significance"