Compassion

“Don’t Retaliate with Insults” | My Journey

today7 months ago 1

Background
share close


Photo by Iliya Jokic on Unsplash

Our national discourse seems to be dominated with insults and anger. God calls his servants to a different way! Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing.

Scripture:

Isaiah, chapters 40-42; 1 Peter, chapter 3

Isaiah 42:1-4 (NLT):

“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen. He is my chosen one, who pleases me. I have put my Spirit upon him. He will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or raise his voice in public. He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged. He will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction.”

1 Peter 3:8-12 (NLT):

Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and keep your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”

The Servant of the Lord

Our passage from Isaiah 42 today is the first of the “Servant Songs” of Isaiah. These four passages (42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-11; 52:13 – 53:12) describe the “Servant of Yahweh.” They are often viewed as prophecies of the coming Messiah, although they also describe what God had desired for his people Israel. Thus, the reference to my servant in these songs can also be applied to all people who seek to serve the Lord.

We are obsessed with power. We often look for leaders who will stand up and boldly challenge our “enemies.” Sometimes we wonder how evil people end up with power. It’s not just because they want it so badly that they’ll do anything to get it. No, it often happens because they voice the anger and frustration of people who feel like they are “outside.”

Contrast that with “the servant of the Lord.” He will bring justice to the nations. Okay, that sounds good – until we realize that “justice” doesn’t mean “do what I want,” but “do what is right.” He will not shout or raise his voice in public. Well, that eliminates quite a few “leaders” these days! He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. In other words, I think God is telling us that his servant treats everyone with the grace and dignity that is appropriate for a child of God.

“Don’t Retaliate with Insults”

The passage from 1 Peter has the title, “All Christians” in the New Living Translation. Peter has been instructing and directing various groups of believers, but now he turns to everyone. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do.

Application:

Don’t Retaliate with Insults

I’m afraid that we’re missing the mark on Peter’s instructions these days. Oh, we may convince ourselves that we sympathize with each other, and even love each other as brothers and sisters. But are we tender-hearted? Are we easily moved at the plight of others? Do we keep a humble attitude? Or are we consumed with demonstrating our moral superiority?

Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. The fact that Peter directs this to Christians shows that insults and negative attitudes were present in his time. They are still present today, of course. We see them in much of the political “discourse” of our day, which is not surprising. What is surprising is the degree to which Christians demonstrate those attitudes – and applaud others who do so.

Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do. Christians are to be different – not in a smug, self-righteous way, but in a spirit of humility and service. Isaiah’s servant songs demonstrate that God expects his servants to live that way!

Prayer:

Father, forgive us for the times when we’ve failed to live as your servants should. Deliver us from the arrogant attitudes that lead to bitterness, anger, and insults. Help us today to keep a humble attitude, and to pay back insults with blessings. Lead us and empower us to reflect the character of Jesus to everyone we meet today. Amen.

 





Source link

Written by: OchriO

Rate it

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


0%