Reacting to Hurtful Words

Author: Enid Adah Nyinomujuni — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: August 30, 2022

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Reacting to Hurtful Words

How should we react when negative and unkind words are spoken to us or
about us? Do we react in anger to defend ourselves or get involved in
arguments in order to clear our reputations? Do we meditate on these
hurtful words and hold grudges? Years back, I would respond to such words
in a rude way, either to defend myself or to hurt the people who had spoken
hurtful words to me. I would meditate on the negative words so much that I
would end up with bitterness in my heart. Then, I came across Philippians
4:8. In this passage, God’s Word tells us to think and meditate on good
things. I began to see that I was doing a wrong thing by meditating on
wrong words. Instead of storing up the cruel words of others in our hearts,
we can meditate on God’s Word. We can rest in the truth that He loves us
immeasurably and rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). And when
we are secure in the love God has for us—a love fully revealed in Jesus’s
death and resurrection—that love overflows into how we respond to the
unloving people around us. In our day-to-day encounters with people, we
hear unkind and negative words. In these situations, we are tempted to
fight back, to hate and hold grudges. But such a reaction will lead us to
sin against God and each other. James 1:20 warns us that the sinful anger
of humans does not work toward the righteousness of God. Instead of
reacting in sinful anger, we can rest in the love Jesus has for us and for
those around us, and we can let that love direct our speech. Through the
Holy Spirit’s work in us, we can be “slow to speak and slow to become
angry” (James 1:19). Let’s follow the example of Jesus: when He was
insulted by others, He did not insult them in return but instead trusted
God, who is the just judge (1 Peter 2:21-23). • Enid Adah Nyinomujuni •
When we hear gossip or unkind words about ourselves, we often want to get
revenge. How could remembering Jesus’s love for you (and those who hurt
you) bring peace and healing? May these words of my mouth and this
meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my
Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 (NIV)


Read Verses:

Psalm 19:14; Philippians 4:8; James 1:19-James 1:20; 1 Peter 2:21-1 Peter 2:23