A person with good sense is patient, and it is to his credit that he overlooks an offense. Proverbs 19:11 GOD’s Word Translation
Jimbob wants to fight back after being called a name. Instead he learns to forgive. I find the fight or flight kicks in when people insult another with name calling. Forgiveness is the path for a third way of dealing with the hurts and insults. Which path do you choose?
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words CAN harm you.
Name calling is like breaking down an emotional dam, you are never quite sure what will burst forth on the other side. Words can easily cause anger to rise to physical altercation or create inner turmoil that last for years.
In a famous court case in New Hampshire vs Chaplinsky Justice Francis W. Murphy wrote the following about inciting words. “Although most speech falls under the protection of the First Amendment freedom of speech, expressions that are “lewd and obscene, . . . profane, . . . libelous, and . . . insulting or ‘fighting’ words” cannot claim constitutional protection. Murphy argued that fighting words “by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”
Even the “world” acknowledges the power of words to cause harm. Christians follow a higher standard than our First Amendment rights…bless and curse not.
King Solomon understood that it takes wisdom and patience to let a matter go. It also takes the ability to overlook the offense or forgive. Forgiveness in this sense means to remove the debt that was owed. If you do not take up the offense, then no action is needed to make it right. You cancel the need to get even.
To be sure, words hurt. This is why it is so important to remember who you are in Christ. Your identity is not wrapped up in the name calling. When we become a child of God, we also become a king’s kid. The Holy Spirit reminds us that we are special to God NOW and throughout eternity.
Jesus said that we are to bless those who curse us. Only you can control what comes forth out of your mouth. The book of James said that we should not bless and curse out of the same mouth. Choose to bless even if it sounds phony.
Bless the drivers who cut you off. Bless your spouse who knows how to hurt you with words. Bless your mom and dad who have labeled you a loser. Bless your children who fail to honor you with their words. Bless your teachers and leaders. Choose blessing.
Blessing and forgiving creates a non-stick teflon coating over your heart. May you have the grace and wisdom to overlook an offense.
Blessings Love y’all