Reacting to Unkindness

“A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself” (Proverbs 11:16, 17).

I seem to be hurt easily by words. Are you? I think there are two reasons why words hurt me so much. The first is, I treasure words. I choose them with care. Since I see them as valuable and special, I am deeply wounded when they are used against me. Second, I always feel
that somehow the words are true. I doubt myself far more than I doubt others. No matter how far-fetched the accusation, my low self-confidence impels me to wonder, “Are they speaking the truth about me?”

A wise lady once counseled me about my reactions to unkind words. “Most of the time when people say unkind things to you, the things they say are not really about you. Rather these people are reacting to situations in their own lives. Be careful not to answer back harshly.
Don’t try to defend yourself. Just listen. Sometimes it’s hard to hold your tongue, but when you do, you are the winner and not the loser.”

When I hold my tongue, I also keep my self-respect. I choose not to lose the dignity that a nasty or sarcastic reply would cost me. Bear in mind that people rarely remember the kind things you say, but they will always remember the unkind things you say.

Try to analyze why words, especially if they are untrue, hurt you so much. Then try to figure out why they were said. Discipline yourself to a controlled response.

Discipline yourself to be kind.

Kimberly Snider is a missionary to the Philippines.

From “Moments for Moms,” a free email subscription.
Copyright (c) 2005 Women’s Ministries of the Assemblies of God.


Maxim of the Moment

Where there is much love there are few regrets.