Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Grace in spite of insults

“We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’” Romans 15:1-3 (NRSV)

Keeping our eyes on Christ can help us to overcome the insults that we receive from people. It can be difficult to get along with others. People have an agenda that is very self-serving, and we should count ourselves in this group as well. In order to survive, we have to take care of ourselves. The verse above tells us not to make our self-serving nature a priority, but work to build up our neighbor.

How do we do this without letting other people walk all over us? The key to this is grace. When we disagree with someone, grace helps us to recognize the weaknesses in the other person, and view the disagreement as a chance to help the other person become stronger. This is extending grace to them.

We must remember that when others insult us, they are actually insulting God. We do not need to stand up for God, but we can take a hard stand for our faith. If we demonstrate grace in the midst of insults, then we have demonstrated God’s grace to mankind.

It helps to remember that this is ultimately not our fight. This is God’s battle with sin, and He will overcome it. We just need to train our knee-jerk reactions to insults to be reactions of grace.