Proverbs 12: 16 Fools show their anger at once, but the prudent ignore an insult.
I love the book of Proverbs. It contains lots of practical wisdom, often in little bite-sized chunks. This verse is a great example.
Have you ever known someone who was quick to take offense? It’s tiresome to be around them. You have to measure your every word, lest they fly off the handle in anger – or walk off crying because they’ve been hurt.
Or perhaps you are the one who tends to get easily offended at others’ comments. We can all agree it’s difficult to listen to other peoples’ criticisms or insults – particularly when they are untrue, unfair, or both. It’s natural to feel the need to defend ourselves. It may even be natural for such comments to make us angry, to the point of lashing out or arguing.
But that’s not a good thing.
Why? Because responding in anger to other people’s opinions gives them an inordinate amount of control over us. We become easily manipulated as other people push our buttons. It also demonstrates a lack of self-control on our part.
The advise of the writer of Proverbs is spot on:
Question: How should we respond when people insult us, criticize us, or make unfair/untrue comments about us?
Answer: Hold your tongue. I know, sometimes that’s easier said than done. But it is wise.
Lord Jesus, give us grace to ignore the insults of others, though that’s sometimes difficult. Give us your spirit of peace, which tempers anger. Amen.