“What’s wrong with you?” The question stung. Bryan replied from the safety of a carpeted banister, “Hey, this is my first time and I don’t have very good balance.” “So, it’s easy,” the boy retorted. Then with a look that said, “You’re a dork!” he took off. A friend skated to Bryan who then shared what the kid had said. He was appalled at the boy’s rudeness. He went over to some of their mutual friends and reported the insult. They devised a plan to body check the smart aleck. Not a godly response—but humorous. For Bryan, the balm of supportive friends covered the sting of criticism.
Proverbs 12:16--A fool’s displeasure is known at once, but whoever ignores an insult is sensible.
If we understood the source of insults I suspect our need to defend ourselves would evaporate. Insults come from insecurity. A person who is not confident in his own standing for a multitude of reasons needs to belittle the character or status of another. Our difficulty stems from our own insecurity. Thus, when we get ripped, every pore in our body screams, “Get even!” If we were secure in the Lord, the comments of derogatory people would be like eggs sliding off a new Teflon pan.
Did you ever stop to consider that an insult affords you an opportunity? A sinful world teaches that the best response to derogation is a better put-down. But that only escalates the process of wounding. Listen to what the Scripture teaches us. “Not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).
Are you discouraged because someone you know continuously puts you down? Is your joy depleted by the attacks of others? Turn the verbal poison away by committing to pray for the offender. Look for the source of insecurity in the one spewing and heap kindness upon evil. This will strengthen you and bring honor to God. If you are being insulted for your walk with Christ, listen to what Jesus said. “You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11,12).
Don't let your tongue cut your throat.—Irish Proverb
Personal insult will be an occasion in the saint for revealing the incredible sweetness of the Lord Jesus.—Oswald Chambers in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
To say what is untrue, what is unkind, or to say it unkindly, constitutes failure in Christian living and Christian witness.—George Duncan in Every Day With Jesus
©2001 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)