When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
1 Peter 2:23 ESV
Sticks and stones will break my bones, blah, blah, blah.
We know that being on the receiving end of abusive speech hurts. When you are insulted or otherwise assaulted verbally, it is difficult to take.
How does one deal with that injury though? The non Christian's response is pretty obvious. They become provoked and retaliate in kind, or sulk and let the hurt dominate your life.
A Christian should have a different reaction, however. Guided by Scripture, he seeks to glorify God. That means he will...
1. Take it in stride - We're not going to mask or downplay the pain of being belittled. When someone calls you an idiot, loud mouth, or pansy, it is a bruise to the soul. It's intended to humiliate, and that humilation can be felt quite deeply. It doesn't, however require you to be provoked.
Jesus was called Beelzebub, an illegitimate child, and a fake. His own family called him a looney. No doubt that He was acquainted with that grief and knows how much such attacks hurt. But he embodied the wisdom of God of maintaining his composure:
"Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding keeps silent." (Proverbs 11:12)
2. Remember God's estimation - Paul said, "But with me it is a very small thing to be judged by you or any human court...It is the Lord who judges me." As Christians, we recognize that man's approval or judgment of us does not hold any water with us. We seek approval from God alone and know that He has given us all the worth that we need.
He has made us in His image, endowed us with glory, made us co-heirs with Christ, and redeemed us from hell. All this, even despite our sinful unworthiness. No matter man's view, God has given us an identity that is high and indestructible.
3. Entrust yourself to God - You have the greatest defender. The Lord promises to bring about vengeance and will surely vindicate your name in due time. You need only trust and wait for history to unfold.
Jesus did just that. "When reviled, he did not revile in return." Instead, he "continued to entrust himself to Him who judges justly." He believed that time would be his greatest defender as the sovereign God executed His plan in the world on his behalf.
4. Respond with Charity - You don't have to respond, of course. Silence is sometimes the best reaction. It may be folly to try and talk to someone who is filled with passion, and it's no use throwing pearls to pigs.
However, you can respond with a gracious attitude and words if necessary. Focusing on the problem or other issue at hand while demonstrating the utmost courtesy can have many benefits.
Not only can this disarm the agresser (a soft answer turns away wrath, Prov. 15:1), it can make the Lord's retribution upon him all that more severe (heap burning coals on his head, Prov 25:22).
Come & Camp
Be sure to reserve June 12-14 for our annual weekend of fellowship. Grab your friends and join us as we play games, eat, and worship together at the Lillo's. Stay for the day or stay all weekend, it's up to you.
Contact Kim to RSVP a headcount and get any further details.
Location: 3297 Walnut Road, Willard, OH 44890
Join us for Worship
Hopewell has resumed worship services and we'd love for you to be a part of it. Come worship the Savior and King this Sunday at 10:30 am.