HOW TO EFFECTIVELY HANDLE INSULTS

Girls Staring each other down - Stuart Miles

 

The other day, I decided to read the account of the battle between David and Goliath in I Samuel 17 once again. I love stories about people overcoming great odds! As I read the passage, it dawned on me that David was insulted three times! Each incident was probably within minutes of each other, but he did not let his emotions get stirred up. Amazingly, he still had the presence of mind to face Goliath and defeat his archenemy. I wanted to know how he did that, and when I examined the passage further, this is what I found:

He Ignored Negative People

When David showed up at the battle, his brother, Eliab, questioned his integrity. He asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle” (v. 28). David refused to take the bait and get off track and defend himself. What did he do? He turned away and ignored him. He probably realized that his brother’s emotions were still raw from being rejected as king and having to watch his little squirt of a brother be anointed. Therefore, he chose to ignore him and shifted his focus to others who gave him respect.

He Rehearsed Past Victories

King Saul hurled the second insult. When David told Saul he would fight Goliath, the king said, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth” (v. 33). However, that put-down did not phase David. He shifted his focus from Saul’s comment to a focus on his track record of killing a lion and a bear. He argued against the insult that he knew to be untrue. In other words, he rehearsed his past victories. When the enemy tries to discourage you and tell you that you are incompetent, don’t focus on what one person says, focus on what you know to be true, and all the other experiences you have had that will fuel your faith and confidence.

He Remembered Who He Was and to Whom He Belonged

 Finally, Goliath, the giant, insulted Him. He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?”…“Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals” (vv. 43-44)! He threatened David with bodily harm. Again, David shifted his focus, this time to God and Who He was in his life.  He told Goliath, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the  Lord  Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (v. 45). When people insult you, you have to remember who you are and also Whose you are. When you know who you are in Christ and to Whom you belong, you know that whatever people say to you cannot diminish your worth and value. Your righteousness cannot be altered by what mere mortals say or do. So the next time you are insulted, let the Lord defend you and remember who you are in Christ.

As you can see, the key to dealing with insults initiated by the enemy is to shift your focus. Shift your focus to others who love and respect you. Shift your focus from what one individual says and refuse to lose sight of what others say about you or what experiences you have gained to refute the lies of the enemy. Shift your focus to God, remember what He has said about you, and let Him defend you. When you shift your focus, like King David, you will be able to stay on track, avoid distractions, keep your emotions in check, and accomplish what God sent you here to do.

How do you effectively handle insults? Please leave a comment below.

 

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Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net (Stuart Miles)

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