Series: The Road to Humility
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9 NLT
He aimed his words at me like poisonous darts.
Jake lived with bitterness, and I became the target of his sourness. When I first became his pastor, he took to me for some unknown reason. We had a good relationship—he even visited with me—until I made a move that offended him.
The church board made a decision affecting his position in the church. He took it personally and aimed his anger at me. From then on, I wasn’t his friend. He stopped talking to me, unless it was to tell me how much he disliked me for what I had done. And he made sure he aimed his barbs while others were around, further embarrassing me. Each time, I kept my mouth shut.
Then I made my second mistake. One of Jake’s relatives died, and I didn’t respond in the way he thought I should have. Once again, he shot his poisonous missiles. I apologized for my failure, but he wanted nothing to do with my sorrow. “It’s a little late for that,” he said. Although I wanted to react with anger, I remained quiet.
I wish I could say Jake and I made up—but we didn’t. Not because I didn’t want to, but because he wouldn’t give me the chance. I eventually moved on to another church, and he later died.
Peter’s advice promotes humility but certainly isn’t easy to follow. When others insult us or harm us, staying quiet—or not planning revenge—proves difficult. Mastering the art of remaining quiet, however, builds humility.
Peter doesn’t ask us to do anything Jesus didn’t do. The cross demonstrated humanity’s most unfair act, yet Jesus didn’t revile those taking His life. Rather, He asked God to forgive them.
I’ve lived long enough to realize unfair acts against me will happen. Regardless of how hard I try to get along with everyone, someone will harm me physically or emotionally. Remaining quiet when they do is only possible when I rely on God’s power in me. Otherwise, I’ll say or do things I shouldn’t.
And every time I take matters into my own hands, I’ll mess things up. Jesus remained quiet so God’s plan could be initiated, and He can give us the ability to do the same.
When you’re treated unfairly, ask God to help you remain quiet.
Tweetable: Have you learned the art of remaining quiet?
Prayer: Father, when others aim their poisonous darts at us, give us the courage to remain calm and quiet and let You handle our enemies.