Now I would love to sit here and write to you that every person who insults me I just bless their socks off. But…I cant. For me insults are like trying to eat ice-cream in the heat. Some times stuff gets messy. Worst of all it just leaves me joyless.
I think the first insult I ever had was when I was like 6. The scene is kindergarten. We are sitting playing and this girl says “You have a big nose. I don’t like you.” My reply was “Well you stink.” I remember thinking Ha! Take that mean girl! You can guess the rest; she said another mean thing then so did I. It just kept going. Unfortunately that has not been my only childish spat. I am very much an adult now and somehow I still feel this deep protective instinct to lash out in return when some one deeply insults me.
So I pray, I fast, I ponder over this being insulted thing. Through the years God has done a great work in me because for the most part I am not easily offended. There is however one exception to the rule-my immediate family or those I am closest to. Have you ever had your spouse or one of your parents say some thing to you and it just shakes you? Or your kids speak nonsense to you and it just hurts in such a way you feel the right to defend your self?
I like to analyze. I analyze my behavior and try to figure out why I react in a certain way. I realized that my reactions stem from my hurt. They stem from this deep need to feel loved from those that I love the most. It’s like if you shout some rebuttal that equally hurts them. Then your on even playing fields. I know how this sounds but you know how it is in the moment. Your defensiveness feels totally rational. I think that is the plan. That the plan of our very real enemy Satan is to cause us to keep these dysfunctional cycles of hurt going. No one ever wins.
God has a plan to break the painful cycle of hurt & insults.
The word says 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. 1 Peter 3:9
I had tried to wrap my brain around this verse for like a week. I told God in my prayers “How can we truly do this? Lord are you saying just let everyone walk all over us? Well I just can’t do it. Period. End. Done. Anything else I will do but I just can’t bless a blatant jerk”. Then it happened. I was insulted. Not a little but a lot. You know those tender spots you get. Like if you were chunky as a kid and someone mentions weight (even though you are smoking now) you get fired up. Where that particular subject it seems everyone that insults you has to go there. Did I bless them. No! I pointed out their flaw. Then the next person I spoke to I insulted with my attitude. What a mess! Do you see the cycle? I did.
Later that day still feeling down I heard a song it went Oh what a Savior, wonderful Jesus. I thought. Thats it! The person giving the insult they are hurting. What is a good way to bandage that hurt? A blessing. I learned that we have a choice in that moment we are hurt. We have to choose whose side we are going to fight on. How do you give that love blessing or make the right choice when your hurt?
I believe it’s a combination of guarding your heart, knowing God loves you, and your desire to stand firm against the one true enemy. That firm foundation allows us to bless those that hurt us.
Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 (Tender-hearted doesn’t mean take everything personal. It means being compassionate.)
For though we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh. 4The weapons of our warfare are not the weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We tear down arguments, and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.…2nd Corinthians 10:3-5 (Insult for insult would be waging war according to the flesh.)
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. … Guard your
heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. …Proverbs 4:23 (Will what comes out of our heart be flowing from a place of pain or a place of understanding and compassion?)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 This is not a general statement. He is not saying sometimes it’s mean people and sometimes it’s the devil. He is warning us to remember that our fight is never with another human. Our fight is far more spiritual.
Next time I want to direct my anger where it belongs. I want to praise God for every insult that gives me an opportunity to hate the devil and love God more. For every opportunity to stand firm in who I am in Christ. I am praying for you today. I am praying that you would stand firm too. I pray that your heart be guarded the next insult or feeling of rejection that comes your way. May the Spirit of God empower you to break the chains of hurt. May the Lord always help you and I repay an insult with a blessing so that we may further the kingdom of God. In Jesus Holy name. Amen.
May you be blessed and encouraged.
-Annette D. Burke©
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