A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. – Proverbs 12:16 NIV
Internet posts have deemed our world as becoming a society of “the perpetually offended.” News reports often tell of those who lose jobs or have their livelihood taken away because someone was put off by unintentional words or actions. And in social settings, it’s not unusual to hear of misunderstandings that get blown out of proportion and destroy relationships. Proverbs says this is the picture of foolish behavior. Sadly, Christians often respond no differently.
Of course, you have to be careful with words and “in humility value others above yourself,” (Philippians 2:3). But as a child of God, it’s imperative to learn how to lower defenses and overlook the words of others.
As you learn to rely on the Holy Spirit to give spiritual discernment, you’ll learn to look beyond caustic words to see hurting souls who spew out ugliness because of their own brokenness and push people away through hostile words. If you want to really reach these people and let them see Jesus, you must submit to God, allow Him to tame your flesh, and respond, not with angry responses, but with love… not love as defined by your feelings, but love that is demonstrated by actions and comes from Christ who lives within you.
- God, help me to see people who I encounter as You see them and respond with Your love.
- Jesus, sift my actions and attitudes today, so that through them, I will be a living invitation for others to know You.