This brief series of messages involving the believer's response to unkind or unjust words has dealt primarily with the internals of our relationship with God, along with our reciprocal response of how to respond, think, believe, and relate to our Lord in this challenging matter. A final thought regarding the matter concerns relating to our offender, particularly regarding the attitude in which we act and express ourselves toward him.
"Bless them that curse you" (Luke 6:28). We determine that our response will not originate according to the characteristics of the world, the devil, and the flesh from which the attack proceeded, but rather from the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is, we determine to seek the glory of God and the offender's benefit - "bless" - in how we respond and what we say. This does not mean that we cannot address the "curse" of which we have been the victim. There is no fault in informing another person that their words have been hurtful and unfair (we may also in some cases follow the pattern of response mandated by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20). We do so, however, not from the wound of our hurt feelings, but rather from the solace and strength received because we have sought the Lord and His truth - "This is my comfort in my affliction, for Thy Word hath quickened me" (Psalm 77:2). We remember that the Lord Jesus well knows the pangs of verbal abuse to a far greater measure and degree than we will ever experience. He overcame them all, and now dwells within us by His Spirit to lead us accordingly. "Let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator" (I Peter 4:19).
In essence, we respond in love, the love of Christ. This involves the devotion to our Heavenly Father that constitutes His honor and will as the primary issue in the matter of verbal abuse. As the Lord Jesus declared, "I do always those things that please Him" (John 8:29). The Spirit of our Savior dwells in us to motivate and enable the same response. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). The path paved from such reality involves the determination to walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh for the purpose of pleasing and honoring our Father, as opposed to punishing and hurting our offender. Indeed, a great Truth presents itself to us in this challenging matter, namely, that walking with God involves seeing our relationships with people, whether pleasantly or unpleasantly experienced, as opportunity to relate to Him. In blessedness, we give thanks for the wonder of knowing our Lord and His love as revealed in humanity. In difficulty, such as the verbal abuse we presently consider, we give thanks in the recognition that the weaknesses of humanity provide opportunity to seek our "faithful Creator" in the assurance of His comfort, His leading, His enabling, and His provision of an opportunity to know and express His wondrous love not only in pleasantries with people, but in persecutions.
Few more challenging paths lies before us in our walk with the Lord. Unkind and unjust words hurt. However, few more blessed paths offer to us a walk with God in the love of His grace, mercy, and truth. Responding to Him when verbally abused leads and enables us to respond to our offender in a manner that reveals the living Word, the Lord Jesus. As always, the challenge provides the opportunity for victorious availing that would not otherwise exist. This is the Christian life, the life of Christ, as presently experienced in a fallen world wherein "the Light shineth in darkness" (John 1:5).
"As it is written, For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more conquerors through Him that loved us."
Weekly Memory Verse
I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels more principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height not depth nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.