By His Grace

Returning Insult For Insult

Posted on: May 3, 2012

How did Jesus do it?  Jesus was criticized and insulted but never returned insult for insult.  The witness of Jesus tells us to return evil with good.  Be slow to anger.  Turn the other cheek.

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” (Proverbs 12:16)

Where do we draw the line of being insulted by another person and turning the other cheek?  When do we stand up for ourselves?  How many times can we really just turn the other cheek before saying something in our defense?

There is a person in my life that always seems to “get a jab at me” every time we have a conversation.  This is a person that I have hurt from my past actions.  This person has also hurt me.  I have truly forgiven them.  I really have.  I have asked forgiveness for my sharpness and overreaction.  I’m ready to let it go.  I AM capable of forgiveness.  I believe God has blessed me with incredible patience and the ability to forgive.  In my past, I had an ex-boyfriend who grabbed me by my hair, put a gun to my head & shoved me down into an execution type stature.  I even forgave him (and got a permanent restraining order). 

So even though I have hurt this person in my life and it may be justifiable reactions to my past behavior, they still throw an insult at me in a passive aggressive way even though I have changed my life and don’t behave in that manner anymore.  It doesn’t matter how well I am doing.  It doesn’t matter how far I’ve come, I still get that “dig” at least once every time we are around each other.  I get so upset!  I get very defensive.  I get tired of having to stick up for myself.  Yes, I insulted this person last night.  My past was being thrown in my face and in a vulgar manner.  I kept my cool at first, and then I started yelling and verbally did not behave as a Christian nor as a lady.  I asked God to forgive me.  Even though what I said back to them was all true, I did say it in a manner unbecoming.

“Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:10)

I’m not going to blame my behavior as “just being human”.  I REALLY want to be able to control my tongue, no matter how terrible I’m being treated.  Will I ever perfect this area in my life?  I sure hope so.  I will just have to keep trying or maybe I just need to choose better friends & end this particular one.

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52 Responses to "Returning Insult For Insult"

Hi Michelle.

Just checking in on ya. I pray all is well.
Keep believing, keep trusting and watch God. Your best days are ahead.

God bless and do tell the Lord thank you today.

Debra

Thank you so much for checking in with me! I’ve been so busy I have neglected my blog but I think of you often Debra. You have helped me so much in the past. I actually just got another promotion (two days ago) at work to asst manager. The current asst mgr isn’t working out so I was offered the position and it was approved by the district manger. It hasn’t officially gone through yet in terms of raise and such. The current asst mgr is still there, she doesn’t know her future demise though. I have to be ServSafe Certified (food safety) first and do some more training. I’m doing my best to be confident in myself. I do believe God is playing a BIG part in all this and is answering my prayers.

And you know, even though all these good things are happening, I’ve been so irritable and emotional!!

So I’ve been making myself spend at least 10 mins a day with the Lord and I started a daily reading plan. Every time I spend time in His Word I feel better at the end. But I feel the devil really trying to get to my thoughts and shoot down confidence in myself. I just keep reminding myself that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

So how are YOU my friend?

You are welcome to me email at byhisgrace211@yahoo.com
I love you Debra!

JUST EMAILED YA.
PRAISE GOD!

LOVE YA MY SISTER.
DEBRA

This work situation is fabulous. Wonderful news, Michele, for a wonderful girl!

Dawn

Thank you Dawn! God bless you friend. I actually just typed a quick post giving an update. I feel bad I haven’t spoken to all of you guys recently. 🙂

AMEN!

PRAISE BE TO GOD! IT IS HE WHO HAS BEGUN A GOOD WORK IN HER AND HE WILL COMPLETE IT UNTIL THE DAY OF JESUS CHRIST.

This is the Lord’s doing and it is indeed marvelous in our eyes. PRAISE GOD!!

I am so happy for her!!

Our God is still on the throne! He is indeed the Sovereign God. No doubt about it!!!

God bless and thanks for stopping by.

Debra

Thank you Debra!! God bless you my friend. Your enouragement always uplifts me especially when I am questioning myself. Love you sis!

PRAISE BE TO GOD THE FATHER.

GOD BLESS AND I LOVE YOU TOO MY SISTER.
DEBRA

We get into gray areas here for me sometimes, so I won’t give you any advice…All I’m going to say is that sometimes I’ve found that being silent while someone insults me repeatedly has seemed to feed this creepy thing in some of them, and a well spoken boundary has been what has made it stop. Hope that makes sense…

LOL! And I’ve stumbled with going off on people so many times, I now have a standard prayer for the occasion…I’m better lately, but we all hate to have our sin and failures smudged into our faces, especially by those who can’t seem to see their own sins smudged all over their own faces…It is a learning lesson, for sure, but not fatal or even as clear cut as I think people try to make it.

🙂 Bird

Okay. No worries Bird. Love ya in Christ!

Are you to talking about “projection”? lol I hear you sister. I do my best to keep silent and I really do set boundaries. My friend has some emotional issues and a mental disorder along with it. It’s from severe child abuse, so I do take that into account, but sometimes I just can’t take it and have to defend myself. If I allowed the “old Michele” to come out, I would yank them out of my car by their hair and leave them on the side of the road. I don’t allow the street to come out of me anymore. That’s a BIG change for me and most people don’t know that. But…..I’m a new person in Christ now and I keep my cool when it comes to putting my hands on someone. But I gotta tell ya…..my thoughts go there and the Holy Spirit corrects me and strengthens me to have self-control. I appreciate you commenting and I love you in Christ Bird. 🙂

lol..I always love meeting another street girl saved by grace…:)

Wonderfully, sensibly put! You speak candidly and display a sensitive and teachable spirit. That’s already a first step in the right direction. I don’t often give unasked advice (it’s usually worth what it costs.), but you seem to invite us in. One thing that has helped me is to realize no one can hurt (or use) me without my allowing it. The only way I know to deal with that problem then is simply: Take away your permission to allow them such trespass. Keep on loving them, but just stop allowing the person to exercise that power over you. You have no control over how they act. But you (alone) DO have control over the way you react and that’s your only responsibility in such a case. > donkimrey

Your right and thank you for that. Many blessings to you!

[…] moment. Then (and doesn’t our God have the most perfect timing??) I read this blog over at By His Grace. And what should be right in the middle of the page but Proverbs 12:16 (also featured by our pastor […]

Thank you for the link Jeff! God bless! 🙂

Yes, you will be perfect in your area of your life. Sometimes it takes time. And they will do it just to get under your skin to get you back in the state of mind you use to be in. Don’t let them get the best of you. I do hope all is well on your end! In my prayers, God Bless 🙂

That is true about trying to get me back into the state of mind I use to be in. Hope you feel better and have fun at the wedding!. 🙂 God bless.

I brought up your blog post about a half hour after I lost it with one of our contract drivers. I read the Proverbs verse and it just hit me between the eyes. I told my associate here, “You know…sometimes God nudges me, and sometimes he knocks me up side the head.” When I got a few minutes alone, I called the driver and apologized. He really appreciated the call, and I feel so much better. God is so good.

That’s great Jeff! So glad it helped you. We are His instruments. 🙂 ~~~Michele

[…] Returning Insult For Insult (byhisgrace211.wordpress.com) […]

Thank you for the link! God bless~~~Michele

I really appreciate your statements… “I’m not going to blame my behavior as “just being human”. I REALLY want to be able to control my tongue, no matter how terrible I’m being treated. ” How easy it is for any one of us to excuse our sins. It is just as you say… for us all… No excuses, simply repentance and renewed trust in the Lord in any weak area of our life is whats needed. Thanks for a very relevent posting. Lord bless you!

Thanks so much Rob. I do find when I’m around certain people I have more tendency to swear and others I do not. I will keep working on it though. God bless!

Oh, Michelle
I was just praying about this “out of the same mouth”
I struggle with the same problems (not the same situation) of keeping my mouth shut
I just read Phil 4:1-9 yesterday in my daily reading
I am going to keep one copy in my purse, one in my office and one in my bedroom
When my mind and mouth want to start “spewing” I am going to hold on to the wisdom of Paul who taught on this very matter
sometimes when “asked for” forgiveness is not accepted by another the best solution is detachment – loving from afar
I watched Eat Pray Love the other day, Liz the main character said when you think of someone (who you hurt or has hurt you) send love to them in thought and let it out in the universe – then go on with your life – although I don’t agree with some of the concepts of “other religions” I think we can learn from all faiths
God Bless you on your journey –
I also read in my Life Application Bible this morning that Jesus died on the cross for our past, present and future sins
Although we do not want to sin I think we will – asking for forgiveness is the key
and we learn all of our life-time to come more quickly to God when we stumble
Keep on Keeping On
susie

Thanks Susie. 🙂 Thanks for the Scriptue too. Many blessings to you!

Hi Michelle, I will share some Scripture with you another time that will explain about our need to put our evil flesh nature to death by The Spirit and we do this as we choose to walk in Love, the Fruit of The Spirit.

Emotions are God given, Jesus got angry but He never held onto bitterness and resentment and that is the sin not the anger, it is only sin when it is hate filled anger. Jesus was also known as a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief and He cried too but He also had deep inner Joy and we can have this and still have a tear in our eye, we don’t have to be Happy Clappy all the time, we need to be real and not wear a mask and that is something that I see is True about you Michelle, and makes you special to me and I’m sure too many others because we can be real too.

I felt very hurt by a woman who I thought was a close friend but she abused me without evidence to support what she claimed, it was only hearsay and her own perception. I knew my feelings were not good towards this woman and I was finding it hard to forgive her so I asked Jesus to help me let go of the hurt and to Love this woman the way He did and as He always answers prayer that is in agreement with His will, I felt peace and wanted to forget what had been said and start again, so I tried to restore the relationship with this person but she rejected my offer of friendship, it hurt again but not like before because I knew I had done what Jesus asks us to do and that is to forgive even those who consider us their enemy and treat us badly.

We can have an enemy but we don’t have to be one.

Christian Love Anne.

Thank you Anne for your kind words and sharing about your friend. God Bless!

Hi Michelle, I don’t receive your replies to my comments do you receive mine ? would you please check your settings to see if we have been blocked.

Thanking you Anne

I never blocked anything…..in fact I don’t evey know how. 🙂 Yes I get all your replies and always respond to yours too. I’ll look further on my side. Love ya in Christ Anne!

Thanks Michelle we have hacker problems or control problems with W.P but I just received your reply, they must have heard me, it is not just your replies we were not receiving, it’s the same with some others. But for now at least yours are ok again.

Kind regards Anne.

Oh good, glad to hear you received the reply. Have a blessed day! 🙂

I have a brother that does this to me as well. I had to stop going to family functions if he was going to be there because I know that one day I will explode on him if I continue to be around him. I love my brother, he is my brother. But I don’t have to let people treat me that way. So in order for me to maintain my “Christianity” I can’t put myself in that situation.
You know if somebody punches you and it hurts every time you see them, eventually you stop seeing them. I want to stand up for myself. I want to scream at him and punch him in the mouth. Doing so would damage my testimony. So, I love him from a distance.

Your absolutely right…..from a distance. Thank you for commenting. God love and blessings! 🙂

I read a book recently and it got me to thinking… I have been thru similar situations and well ended up with the same results… however, since I have read this book I have a new look on this situation that I am applying to my life, I thought I’d share with you…

With forgiveness their comes a price ( now this is not always but go with me for a min).. When God forgave us of our sins he had to send his son to die for us. Now if our God who is capable of more than we think or imagine still pays an extremely high price to forgive our sin, why would we who are much less than God think the forgiveness should be hard or hurt? We all do think that at one time or another.

You cannot tell the other person how to forgive but you can choose how to forgive the injustices that she is doing to you. Give it to God.

And if you fail, you are not alone… God knew we could never meet up to the highest of standards… that is why we have Jesus, Grace, Salvation… we just to remeber to get back up when we fall.

***oops I meant shouldn’t be hard**..

Thank you for the wisdom! Many blessings to you!

btw, in addition to what i said earlier – and in answer to your question, let me say, paul said , “i die daily.” we don’t die once and for all. it is a continual process and choice of the will to die to the flesh nature. so, no, i don’t believe i know anyone who is completely dead yet

It’s that old “dying to self” that is so hard. I know I am not dead if I get hurt. Dead people do not feel pain! He lives in us and so we have the power of the universe for all situations. Knowing this, we can remain calm. The old tv series “Kung Fu” exemplified this. He could have won a fight with anyone that bullied him, but David Carridine turned the other cheek and walked away most of the time. His power was in his character. Your verse is so perfect for the topic.

Bless you, Michele,
Dawn

“dying to self”. Thank you for clarifying in three words. Do you know anyone that has truly died to self? I haven’t. I’ve met people that tried living this life but in a short amount of time, returned to the old lifestyle. I am one of them. I think I have died to self. But I keep committing the same sin…..my swearing. So frustrating. Thanks Dawn. Love you sister!!

i don’t personally believe that “dying to self” means we will feel no pain. “dying to self” is a death to the flesh that would have sinful reactions to pain. Jesus said, “be angry but without sin.” we are going to experience pain and hurt. no matter how dead we are. it is how we react to the pain that determines how alive we are to the flesh 🙂

hmmmm…..thank you my friend. You are educating me in the Word. You are awesome. 🙂

btw, in addition to that, let me say, paul said , “i die daily.” we don’t die once and for all. it is a continual process and choice of the will to die to the flesh nature. so, no, i don’t believe i know anyone who is completely dead yet 🙂

I’m not sure if you are talking about swearing as in saying curse words you do not want to say. If you are I have a comical way that may help you with that. Have you seen the movie “The Man” with Samuel Jackson and Eugene Levy? If you have not, I think you will LOVE it. There is a police detective in it who swears all the time and a dental equipment salesman really has a great tip to get him over it.

My computer is in going in the shop so I won’t be able to continue to access your blog for awhile, but if you can, check out The Man. It’s hysterical and full of wisdom.

Love you,
Dawn

Yes, I was talking about cursing. I will watch the movie. Thank you and God bless!

@byHisgrace, i believe very stronly that some relationships are indeed toxic and have to be severed at some point. just as paul and barnabas went their separate ways for a while, we must too at times. i don’t believe that meekness requires putting up with abuse – even verbal abuse. the persecution Jesus said we would endure is a persecution for righteousness sake. that is an entirely different ballgame.

there are familia relationships that can’t be severed; however, i believe even in those boundaries must be set and that there is nothing wrong with discussing how those jabs make you feel and how you value yourself too much to allow them to continue. it may just be that you need to distance yourself. that doesn’t mean you have not forgiven. do it in an attitude of love. but, love yourself enough to allow healthy boundaries to surround you. you can certainly return good for evil from a distance 🙂

BUT, as in all things, be guided by prayer and the Holy Spirit.

You articulated this so clearly. Thank you my sister. Your comment has helped me very much! ….and you are very right in what you said. I do believe you can love someone from a distance. God bless! 🙂

blessings to you too 🙂

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A little about me........my name is Michele and I am a born-again Christian. I was saved as a teenager and graduated from a Christian high school. I am a mother of one son who is the world to me. Despite my upbringing, later in life I fell into a life of self destruction which led me down many dark paths. I am a recovering addict and alcoholic and I have a great passion for Christ and His amazing power to heal even the worst cases. I am living proof of the miracle of God's power to change your life and way of thinking. Nothing is impossible with God.

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