That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Deferring anger. Overlooking offense. On a good day? Maybe. On a typical day, well, it’s much easier said than done, right? We don’t usually defer anger but instead invite it in. And rather than overlooking offenses, we excel at pointing them out and rubbing them in the face of our “opponent.”
What gets me is how we often reserve such behavior for those we love and care for the most. We feel comfortable enough with them to be “real,” but they probably weren’t aware when they signed up that “real” meant “real mean and ugly.” They say “white,” so we say “black.” They hurl insults, so we wind up and throw some right back in their face. What is wrong with this behavior? Where’s the love and compassion?
We live in a world that teaches survival of the fittest, so if we don’t want to be trampled, we had to step up and speak out. We can’t allow others to walk over us; therefore, we must have the last word. Pride insists we stand up for our opinions, whether they’re right or not. To back down is unacceptable. To look the other way when insults are hurled is unthinkable. To turn the other cheek, surely, is irresponsible. But that’s not what the Bible teaches.
According to the verse above, the only way to find glory is to let the insult pass. Overlook the offense. Let the hurtful words and angry tone drift away on the billowy clouds of love and compassion. Don’t get even. Don’t try to one-up the other person with an attack of your own. Let it go!
That rubs against the grain though, doesn’t it? In our frustration, we shout, “But isn’t it only natural that I fight back?” Natural? Yes. But I ask you, of what nature? The fleshly nature urges us to get even; however, the spiritual nature compels us to forgive and let it pass. So, which will we follow?
True victory is never accomplished by casting stones!