We are continuing our 21 Day Fast from Negative Words!
We are seeking to avoid:
How is your fast going? You are welcome to join us any time. We’d love to hear about what you are learning and the insights the Lord is giving you. And we’d love to pray with you if you are struggling.
This week, we are focusing on avoiding insulting other people – and learning how we are to respond to insults. What an incredibly critical message for us in this culture today!
Check Out These Resources!
As a believer in Christ, I need to know some critical things about insults. This is a brief summary, but I would strongly encourage you to read each of these three following posts linked below. They would be a great supplement to your quiet time this week and go into much more detail about insults that I believe may be a huge blessing. And they will help you prayerfully examine your own heart and invite God to help you with any areas where He may want you to change. (You are welcome to comment either here or on those posts.)
What Is an Insult? And what is not an insult?
- If I seek to purposely hurt someone with my words, and I put them down in some way, I am insulting them.
- Some things that are not insults (when done with proper motives and the Spirit)
- a godly rebuke, constructive criticism, having a different opinion, having different personal convictions, asking respectfully for something, sharing desires or ideas, truth from the Bible (that may not be popular), setting up healthy boundaries, etc…
- Fleshly reactions to insults
- Reacting defensively.
- Attacking someone I think is insulting me.
- Spirit-filled reactions to insults
- Self-control and restraint.
- Respect and honor for God first, and for the other person and self.
- Avoid sinful anger.
- Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. Prov. 12:16
- Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. James 1:19
- Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Rom. 12:21
- Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Luke 6:28
- Confront sin, especially of a fellow believer, humbly, gently, and in God-honoring ways, after dealing with my own sin first. (Matt. 7:1-5, Matt. 18:15-17)
- Know if you are dealing with a fool (according to Proverbs). If so, don’t stoop to his/her level. But respond in godly ways and pray for the person to come to know Christ.
- What is the source of a person’s words?
- It’s important to remember that what comes out of a person’s mouth is about that person’s heart. It reveals the person’s spiritual condition and whether the sinful flesh or the Spirit of God is in control.
- A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. Matt. 12:35
- I must evaluate what someone says and prayerfully determine if his/her words align with what God says. If the person’s words are in agreement with Scripture, I need to listen. I may need to even repent of something in my life.
- If the person’s words are simply destructive and hateful and they do not align with Scripture, I do not need to receive them. Just because someone says something negative about me does not mean it is true. And it does not mean I have to place weight on the person’s words.
- If someone I know loves me and is a strong believer in Christ shares something negative, they may actually be sharing life-giving information with me. They may be helping me see blind spots in my life. God may be speaking to me through them.
- God can reveals sins to us through unbelievers, too. But, if someone who hates God is insulting me, I need to be even more cautious and prayerful about whether this is a life-giving rebuke, or simply the words of the enemy that I need to reject.
- What does God command?
- God calls us to treat others with respect and His agape love.
- Love does no harm to its neighbor. Rom. 13:10
- Love does not dishonor others. 1 Cor. 13:5
- If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26
- There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Prov. 12:18
- Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Prov. 11:12
- As you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. Luke 6:31
- Why do I want to insult others?
- If I put others down and say mean things to them to hurt them, there is something very wrong with me spiritually. It’s time for a deep heart check and spiritual check-up with the Lord. I need to repent of using my words to destroy and tear others down. As a believer in Christ, I am called to use my words to bless, edify, and build others up for their good. (For more info, please click on this link.)
As believers in Christ, we are called to respond wisely and in the power of the Spirit to insults. The Lord also calls us NOT to insult others but to use our words to speak the Life, love, truth, and hope of Christ to others.
Let’s submit our hearts, thoughts, motives, and words to the Lordship of Jesus!
Pray with Me
We invite You to illuminate our hearts, minds, motives, and deepest thoughts. Please expose any sin in the dark corners of our souls. Shine Your blazing Light of truth and love in every nook and cranny. Help us to see toxic ways of thinking and help us to repent so that we can be made right with You and we can be healed by the power of the blood of Jesus. Then please show us how to seek to repent to those we have hurt and to try to make things right and to live Your new way from now on. Help us to treat others with Your love, honor, and respect. That is how we show our love for You. However we treat people – You take that as how we treat You.
How has your 21 day fast from negative words been going? What are you learning about God, yourself, or others? What is more difficult for you – avoiding insulting other people or responding wisely to insults from others? Have you learned any godly wisdom you’d like to share with us? Or, do you need some encouragement, more resources, or prayer support?
How Should You Answer a Fool? By www.lifehopeandtruth.com