How do you react when someone speaks harshly to you? We all encounter rude people from time to time. Should we respond in like manner?
Let’s see what the Word of God says…
“A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Proverbs 18:19, NKJV).
“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression” (Proverbs 19:11, NKJV).
“It is honorable for a man to stop striving, since only a fool can start a quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3).
How we respond is so important. We can lose our Christian witness in one moment if we are confrontational, defensive, or rude back to someone who has offended us.
It is a temptation for us to verbally strike back at someone who has offended us without a cause. James 1:2-3 says, “Count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience….” When someone is harsh to us, it is simply a test of our faith and when we resist the temptation to avenge ourselves, the situation works patience in us.
James also says in chapter 1 verse 26: “If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.”
It is difficult to overlook an offense. The Holy Spirit can enable us and as believers we must allow the Holy Spirit to help us control our words.