Insult and Injury
Lauren unexpectedly unearthed the worst side of human nature. It began in 2015 at a political rally in New Hampshire. (BBC three article) She stood up and asked presidential hopeful Donald Trump a question. The exchange went positively, and she walked away thinking little of it.
Soon things turned nasty and she found herself in the eye of a social media storm. The messages became vile and threatening “I know where you live, I am going to smash your head in” someone even sent a box of excrement to her door. Cyberbullying is a thing. Most of us are too invisible to be attacked but some of us will have faced online enmity and aggression for sure.
Of course, online is just one more creative way for us humans to hurt one another and hurl hateful accusations around. Our human partiality to curse, vilify and bully one another appears to be as old as language itself.
So incoming fire from our fellow human beings is something we have to deal with, but how?
To bless those who persecute us and overcome evil with good is the Jesus way, but it is a tall order. Everything within us fires up our prickly porcupine spikes in the face of aggression: we defend, we counterattack we ensure our guard is not dropped.
Thinking of feedback, as we have been, this passive-aggressive defended stance is not the best posture for receiving advice! Indeed, many blunders have been made because leaders were fearful and battened down their thinking against suggestions of others. However there are words and actions that have been deliberately fashioned against us and are aimed to bring us down. Jesus even calls us blessed when this happens (Matt 5:11)!
So, what to do with injustice and injury and insult when they are lobbed our way?
We will attempt to explore this on Sunday – our guide will be Romans 12:17-21 and Luke 6:27-31.
Here are some questions to get you going:
– What is a Christian response to criticism and slander?
– When and how do Christians stand up to evil and confront injustice?
– Why is it a blessing in Matt 5:11?