“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
Hurling insults has become common practice in our society. Common, perhaps, but rude, nonetheless.
To insult means to speak to or treat with disrespect or scornful abuse. The disrespect doesn’t have to be verbal. It could come in the form of a stare, as we witnessed in the recent Chicago situation where a young man attempted to stare down a police officer. There is a right way and a wrong way to express our grievances. A polite way and a rude way.
Another word for insult is offense. All of us at some point will be insulted. So, what should we do when we are insulted?
Here is what Scripture commands us to do:
1-Turn the other cheek. It is pointless to resist one who insults you. Doing so will only serve to instigate him more. Instead, obey Christ’s command in Matthew 5:39: “But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” In other words, don’t retaliate.
2-Return good for evil, blessing for curse. Jesus said, “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:28). When we bless those who mistreat us, we are pouring water on the devil’s fire.
3-Do not take the insult personally. Insult can stem from jealousy, anger, discontent, real or perceived injustice, and feelings of inferiority, among other things. Whatever the cause, remember that we are not wrestling against people, but against demonic forces that instigate people to do wrong. For this reason, we can hate the sin but love the sinner.
The next time you are insulted, do not take offense. Instead, remember Peter’s admonition in I Peter 3:9: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
Deflect insults with love. Your reward will be God’s blessing on your life.
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