How to Handle an Insult (Without Doing Something Stupid)
An insult is a hard thing to handle. Our pride, position, and even personhood is attacked. We all tend to automatically lash out in retaliation.
How do you resist the urge to “fight fire with fire?”
Here are some thoughts to help you calm down and let God fight your battles:
1. What would Jesus do?
Jesus Himself was insulted. Everywhere He went, the Pharisees twisted His words and suspected His actions. All the way to the cross He faced the mockery, jeers, and name-calling so common today.
“He answered not a word.” All He could say while hanging from the cross was, “Father, forgive them.” He modeled for us that ignoring an insult is the best way to answer it.
2. Listen to the voice of reason.
Mercifully, the Lord usually sends us a person who tries to “reason us out of retaliation.” They have an objective viewpoint while we are having an emotional reaction.
Listen to them. Don’t “shoot the messenger” and tell them “You don’t understand!” See them as a helper from God, sent to restrain your passionate response.
3. Remember that words can never be recalled.
A WORD in response to an insult has a life of its own. It can either put out a raging firestorm or make something ten times bigger.
“A soft answer turns away wrath.” Satan sends someone with a horrific insult to try to get you to verbally retaliate. What was a small insult can turn into a feud lasting for years. Say nothing until you can calm down and it no longer enrages your passions.
4. Turn the person who insults you over to God.
I read in the Bible of people who insulted David the king, Elijah the prophet, and Paul the apostle. They all simply turned them over to God to deal with them as He saw fit.
It didn’t turn out well for the insulters. One of David’s insulters died of a heart attack that day. Elijah’s insulters were attacked by bears and died. Paul’s insulter was struck blind. The point? You better start praying that God has mercy on them rather than trying to fight your own battles!
5. An insult is usually right before a promotion.
An insult can be a test. Can you face rejection and insult without allowing your “flesh” to rise up?
Great leaders can calm their emotions and be far-sighted enough to walk away from foolish talk. If a leader cannot restrain themselves, they can disqualify themselves from leadership.
If you pass the test of a blatant insult and respond in a Christlike way, God has a promotion and a higher position of responsibility right around the corner.
I KNOW IT’S TOUGH.
We all feel weak when we do not respond to an insult with an insult.
Consider these five thoughts when you are about to retaliate. “Hold your words…before you do something stupid!”