There is a Hindi proverb: “If someone hits you with brick, hit him back with rock.” There is a Tamil Thirukkural (General Scripture) that states the physical wounds could be healed; but wounds of words will leave permanent scars. Words are powerful missiles that can kill the spirit of a person, leave them discouraged or depressed for life. Here are some biblical principles that could help us to defeat insults.
1) Be prudent: “The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.” (Proverbs 12:16) An insult should not and cannot stop or upset a life-journey. There is an Arabian proverb: “Dogs may bark, caravan passes by.” Camels just ignore the barks and moves forward. Camels cannot stop to retaliate or respond.
2) Magnanimous: St. Peter reminds us of our spiritual status, and we do not behave like people of the world. ‘Tit for Tat,’ is not in Christian arsenal. “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” (I Peter 3:9) We are authorized to bless those who insult and revile us.
3) Sinful: In fact, all of us think insult during different contexts, even though we may not spell out. Hence, when others do, let us act deaf. “Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you.” (Ecclesiastes 7:21)
4) Sovereign God: If God allowed Shimei to curse David, who can stop him was the attitude of David, though his army generals wanted to behead the ‘dead dog.’ (II Samuel 16: 10) God protects his children. If he allows circumstance for us to be slandered or criticized, that is for our good.
5) Model of Lord Jesus: Lord Jesus Christ was silent like sheep when sheared. (Isaiah 53: 7) Lord did not waste his words. He even prayed for forgiveness of those who insulted and persecuted Him. (Luke 23:34)
Do I have spiritual inner resources to face insults?