Verse: Proverbs 12:16
Fools show their annoyance at once,
but the prudent overlook an insult.
I was watching a basketball game the other night, and Devin Booker from the Suns got a technical foul for shoving another player. The thing was, he didn't shove first! He was shoved, and he "shoved back." But of course, the person who retaliates is always the person who gets caught. That's just how it is. So he got the foul.
This verse reminds me of that. When we get our feelings hurt, or feel insulted, what do we do?
We usually have a choice between reacting or responding. Reacting is when we just retaliate without thinking it through. We say or do the first thing that comes to our mind. We lash out. We try to "hurt them back" and one-up the insult. But this always ends in just more pain for everyone. This is why the Proverb says that "fools show their annoyance." It is foolish to just react and do back to others what they have done to us.
"The prudent overlook an insult." Our other choice is to respond. Responding means taking a moment. Holding our tongue. Thinking and praying. Rather than just saying or doing the first thing that comes to our mind, we actually pause, and consider, what would Jesus have me do in this situation? What would be a loving response? How can I walk in forgiveness? How can I confront this person in love so that we restore our relationship, rather than responding in retaliation and damaging it further?
Next time you get triggered by someone, or offended, or hurt, take a moment to respond rather than just reacting. And see how God uses that to help you grow, and to mend your relationship!
God give me self control so in that situation I can pause, and hear you before I speak!