"Lord, did you hear what he just said to me? What have I done to deserve such mean and hateful words? The only thing I'm guilty of is loving him."
Have you ever said those words to God? Have you been at the receiving end of someone else's verbal abuse, hurled at you like a grenade from out of nowhere? I think we all have at one time or another.
When we are verbally assaulted it is difficult to resist responding impulsively to the harsh words of another. Yet that is what Jesus would have us do. The Bible says, "A gentle answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1, NASB). Sometimes, though, a gentle answer doesn't seem effective in turning around the conversation. What then? Are we justified in fighting back in order to avoid becoming someone's doormat?
As I was pouring out my heart to the Lord following an unpleasant exchange of words with someone else, I sensed Jesus telling me, "I know just how you feel." The One who came to save us from our sins, heal our diseases, and abide with us also suffered tremendous physical and verbal abuse from those who never quite understood or were willing to accept his kind of love. In fact he told us that we would be persecuted and abused on account of him and that we should consider ourselves blessed as a result. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:11-12, NKJV).
The next time someone hurts your feelings with their words or actions remember that Jesus, too, experienced hurt and rejection by thousands of people in his lifetime. But "for the joy before him he endured the cross, despising the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of God" (Hebrews 12:2, ESV). He knows just how you feel, and one day you, too, will be with him in the presence of God where the only words spoken will be words of love, kindness, and peace.
Copyright © 2015 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com
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