“When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats, instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”
(I Peter 2:23)
How to deal with insult and injury? How to get past the temptation to “take things personally” so that we are left with hurt, grudges, and disappointment in people. How to stop the cancer of waking up wanting to retaliate against those who have caused us grief and no small amount of emotional pain?
Jesus was certainly no stranger to insults. As the Son of God, Jesus was reviled, spat upon, rejected, mocked, stabbed, and crucified. If anyone knows how to deal with insults, it is the Son of God. Why do we think (at times) that we should be immune from insults when Jesus wasn't? But Jesus shows us how to handle these difficult moments. He did not retaliate, issue threats, become reclusive or combative. Rather, he “entrust yourselves to God who judges justly “(I Peter 2:23).
What does it mean to “entrust ourselves” to God who judges justly. Simply this: only God knows how to respond in a completely just way to those who insult us. In other words, if justice-real honest justice-were left up to us, we would mess it up. God knows how to deal with folks in a much better way than we do. So, when insulted, we need to “entrust ourselves” to God and “let it go!”
How can we just “let these things go?” It is hard, but as I Peter says, “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” Jesus is watching over us. Jesus is attentive to our needs. Moreover, Jesus “gets it.” He understands what it is like to have to bear up under injustice-but he shows us the way: trust God to get you through it, trust God to handle the situation, trust God to make things right.
Our job is to trust and to love even those who insult us. No good comes from retaliating. Letting God move and do the work is the way to go.