The enemy, the evil one, the devil has been an adversary against the children of God for a long time, and quite frankly, he is good at what he does.
One of his most successful tactics is using us against one another to provoke one another to sin.
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 (NKJV)
10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For [a]if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
One of his favorite tactics to use us against one another is to provoke us to insult one another.
Because insults do no physical or spiritual harm to us…
INSULTS ARE BOTH A ‘FRUIT’ OF AN ATTACK ON OUR PRIDE!
And, we all know that God still considers pride to be an abomination equal to many of the sins that we consider to be ‘greater’…
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)
16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to [a]Him:
17 A[b] proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
One of the greatest signs of spiritual maturity and conforming to the image of Christ is when we can endure insults without responding. God demands it, and it stops an altercation immediately.
Here are 3 biblical reasons that we should NEVER respond to an insult with another insult.
1. INSULTS LEAD TO ETERNAL PUNISHMENT
Yeshua the Messiah, Jesus Christ, made it very clear that hurling insults such as fool, moron, dull or stupid is in danger or ‘hell fire’…
Matthew 5:22 (NKJV)
22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother [a]without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’[b] shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, [c]‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of [d]hell fire.
2. AN INSULT IS A JUDGEMENT
An insult is a verbal expression of what we have judged in our hearts. This is dangerous because when we judge someone, we open ourselves up to the same judgement…
Matthew 7:1-2 (NKJV)
3. AN INSULT IS THE OPPOSITE OF A BLESSING (A CURSE)
God made it clear that we are to speak blessings on those who hurt us and our enemies. We are to NEVER curse them. You don’t have to use profanity to speak a ‘curse’ on someone. All you have to do is insult them.
Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your [b]brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the [c]tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
4. God IMPLICITLY FORBADE THAT WE INSULT ONE ANOTHER
God clearly forbade us from insulting one another. The fact is that when we insult one another, we are insulting God Himself, because we were all created in His image. God feels that whatever we do to the ‘least’ of men or women…we do it to Him…
Matthew 25:37-40 (NKJV)
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
1 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
9 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.
James 3:10 (NKJV)
10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
5. GOD ALLOWS UNBELIEVERS TO INSULT, MOCK & BLASPHEME HIM EVERY DAY & DOES NOT STRIKE THEM DOWN…YET.
Everyday atheist and even some believers insult, mock, and blaspheme God, yet not only does He NOT strike them down, but He allows them to enjoy His sun, His rain, His air, the abundance of life and the energy to pursue their own will. God doesn’t strike them down. God has given us warning about the consequences of blaspheming Him, but He is still patient in releasing His righteous indignation. Even Jesus left us this example. If He can wait for vindication…so can we.
1 Peter 2:23 (NLT)
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
Matthew 26:65-68 (NKJV)
65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66 What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” 67 Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with [a]the palms of their hands, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”
Isaiah 53:7 (NKJV)
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
Matthew 5:44-45 (NKJV)
44 [a]But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Romans 12:14-21 (NKJV)
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have[a] regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
So the next time that someone insults you, don’t fall into the trap of the enemy. Use it as an opportunity to release the love of God from inside you…bless them, sincerely.