In Proverbs Chapter 19, verse 11 it says:
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. [NIV Bible]
This is a Scripture that I come back to again and again. God reminds me of it repeatedly, and it has truly helped me. I don’t know if I was skeptical when I first read this. I might have been, because it definitely falls into the “turn the other cheek” category.
It’s hard not to defend yourself when someone does you wrong. It’s almost automatic to want to punish people who hurt you.
A couple of people offended me in the last week. One was an acquaintance, and one was a stranger. Both were rude, and I felt the hurt like a punch in the gut.
I was mad, and I had the right to be. I considered ways to show my displeasure both times. But the emotional storms passed, and I’m glad I didn’t rise to the bait. If I had, God would have understood, because He understands all of our feelings–anger, disappointment, hurt feelings, the desire for justice.
I didn’t enjoy resisting the urge to forget all about the high road. I almost didn’t do it. But I know I have more peace now than I would have if I had fought back.
There are things worth standing up for, and it’s not wrong to speak on your own behalf. But there are many gray areas in various situations when it can be hard to know how to respond. God will give you His wisdom to help you decide what to do. He did that for me.
Another Scripture guides me as well: In Romans Chapter 12, verses 17-18, it says: Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.[NIV Bible]
I’ve learned something over the years I’ve spent knowing God. When He knows I’ve been wronged, it’s a comfort to me. Other people may not ever realize, admit or apologize for what they do, but God helps heal the anger and hurt inside me.