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Defensive Behavior

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When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

1 Peter 2:23

What does the Lord expect us to do when people are critical and insulting to us? We know the person is angry and their words are usually emotionally driven with little or no truth. Then there are people who are angry at us because we did the wrong thing or said the wrong thing. How do we handle these situations when we are verbally attacked?

Do we respond defensively with anger or do we respond confidently with Godly wisdom. Do we let people hurt us or do we stand strong in our God given identity, with the attitude of ministering to angry insulting people? It is a powerful weapon when people realize they cannot trigger our anger. My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. (James 1:19).

It can be very difficult to overcome a life-long habit of defensive behavior in our own effort. The best way to overcome a bad habit is through our relationship with Christ, who changes our heart. When we have this relationship, we become secure and confident in Christ, and we stand for Christ in all situations. We live in Godly wisdom, not in our learned emotional behavior. It is very difficult to get an angry reaction from a strong Christian, because they are closer to the Lord than are to people, and they exist to represent Christ. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:20).

We are in God’s family, and he has lifted us up into his kingdom, even while we remain in the flesh as his servants. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6). This means we are in this world but not part of the world. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. (John 17:16). This was Jesus’ prayer to the Father concerning his apostles, and it applies to us today. We minister to this world, but we are not part of the world, which means we know the world cannot hurt us because we are sustained by God’s love. We walk with a forgiving heart as we reflect Christ in all situations through the power of Christ. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

Today stand confident in Christ, refuse to be hurt by others and respond with Godly wisdom. Let the Lord carry your pain and hurt, as you stand strong in his love and strength, continuing to be a Light to others. The power of God is revealed when people realize you stand strong in the face of adversity, reflecting God’s wisdom and love.

Prayer: Lord, help me to stand strong and confident in your love and your security; that I may respond in Godly wisdom in all situations. Thank you for the Holy Spirit, who enables me to overcome the world and its evil ways. Lord, keep molding me to the mind and heart of Christ. In Jesus name, Amen