Depending on the temperament of a person, the hurling of insults or hurtful words digs deep into the human spirit. We never find an insult pleasing…whether it is spoken by a friend, a relative, a boss, or someone who does not know us at all…like a public figure speaking on TV or by someone who feels cut-off in traffic and gives a recognizable finger motion. More than once, I have said, “Why does he/or she have to act that way or talk like that!”
In today’s world of divisive words, we rarely know the consequences…unless it causes a catastrophe in our lives or in our world. We do know, however, when we hold hurtful words close to our hearts. It never seems to go away.
Just looking at the person is sometimes difficult…or even thinking of the person. Why is this? Why can’t we let words go? Perhaps it is because the mind is like a recorder and our emotions are strongly attached.
When reading an English version of the Holy Scriptures (Romans 15:3), I found that even Christ himself knew how hard it was to justify insulting words, but He gave a look into the future judgment of things that hurt His children. He said, “The people who insulted you also insulted Me.”
Probably not many people would want to deliberately insult the Lord of Lords or King of Kings when insulting others…yet, He said that this is true. If we believe this verse, then it may be somewhat comforting to know that the person who has hurt your feelings or who brought you down, will be judged by their words by God Himself. Leave it with Him…for you are likely to make things worse if you try to handle it yourself. We are also told that in Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Is a soft word difficult to reply if someone is sharply offending you?… You bet it is. There were even times in Christ’s life when he gave no answer at all. Maybe that is the example for us. The Offenders knows when they are wrong, even if it is never admitted.
Insults also led me to think about the divisiveness that is so much spoken of today. Everyone running for a public office offers to “bring everyone together…heal the rift…and work together for the good of all.” We all know that no one, other than God, can be the great healer for all things. Which leads us to what St. Paul, the Apostle, said to the Christians in Rome about people with differing opinions. Some were criticizing others because they believed in doing things a certain way…and it was not their way. Even among the faithful, there was division. He tells them that they should let God be the Judge and stop blaming, insulting or challenging one another.
(Romans 14:5-12) “…One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
How we treat our fellow human beings who disagree with our views, insult and belittle or make life unpleasant is up to us. In the long run, we most likely will never win if we push back or allow ourselves to “take on the fight.” Each person will eventually give account, not to one another, but to God. Leave it with Him. Lay the burden you are feeling from words or insults flung your way at His feet…or as Christian did when he carried his heavy bag of sorrows and found that he was freed from them at the foot of the cross.
(from Pilgrim’s Progress, a Christian allegory written in 1678 by John Bunyan, who suffered imprisonment.)
“…Now I saw in my dream, that the highway up which Christian was to go was fenced on either side with a wall; and that wall was called “Salvation”. Up this way, therefore, did burdened Christian run; but not without great difficulty, because of the load on his back. He ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending; and upon that place stood a Cross, and a little below, in the bottom, a sepulcher. So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up to the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back, and began to tumble; and so continued to do till it came to the mouth of the sepulcher, where it fell in, and I saw it no more. Then was Christian glad and lightsome, and said, with a merry heart, “He hath given me rest by his sorrow and life by his death.” …
Division…or Insults weighing you down? Just lay those burdens down…with Elijah on guitar (spiritual)
Video (turn up sound)