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Overlook an insult; Vengeance is not mine

Anyone know any impatient drivers?

I do. And, frankly, they look kind of like this guy:

impatient driver

Yesterday I read the story of a family in a fast-food drive-through line being verbally assaulted by an impatient driver in the car behind them, shouting at them to “Hurry up, (insert expletive topped off with the ‘N’ word here).” 

Just the thought of this boils my blood.

I have NO tolerance for people who behave like this.

But the family, thankfully more level-headed than I may have been (especially in the past) didn’t shout insults back. Instead, they proceeded to the window to get their food and then did something no one saw coming.

They paid for that person’s food.

And they didn’t stop there. They took it one step further and wrote this note, which I hesitate to share because the very sight of the ‘N’ word makes my skin crawl.

You may recognize this from Facebook, where it has been circulating:

were not n word

Their explanation, according to the Facebook post?

“When I got to the window I asked to pay for his order. I wrote this on the back of his receipt and asked the cashier to hand it to him with his food. My son asked me why I paid for his food if he was mean, I explained that being nice to nice people is easy, you have to be nice to mean people, that’s the hardest thing to do.”

I’m reminded of our Biblical challenge and call to bless those who curse us. Luke 6:27 and 28:

 “Listen, all of you. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for the happiness of those who curse you; implore God’s blessing on those who hurt you.”

Verses 32-35 continue:

“Do you think you deserve credit for merely loving those who love you? Even the godless do that! And if you do good only to those who do you good—is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, what good is that? Even the most wicked will lend to their own kind for full return!

“Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don’t be concerned about the fact that they won’t repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as sons of God: for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are very wicked.”

dare 9If you’ve been following me for the past couple of months, you’ll know I am now in week 9 of a 40-week journey through the Respect Dare, what I call a wife 101 resource for married women. Even though not everyone reading this is a married woman or even a woman, the concept easily applies to all.

This week’s dare is titled ‘Project Overlook,’ highlighting Proverbs 12:16 that says “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.”

What a perfect illustration we saw above of that Proverbs 12:16 ‘prudent man,’ who wisely left the foolishness to that other guy.

Instead of unleashing wrath, the parent demonstrated God’s grace to the driver of the other car and also modeled it for the child in the vehicle.

It’s so counter-intuitive isn’t it?

When people are rude and insulting, we almost feel like its OUR JOB to fight back, matching them, if not outdoing them, in insults.

Don’t we owe it to ourselves, to the bullied and underdogs of the world even, to ‘fight back’ and win?

Well, no. At least not like we might think.

Because like the people in the story above show us, it doesn’t take rudeness and insults to win. In fact, those things won’t get you anywhere. Instead, the family was able to drive away, dignity intact, knowing that they fought the good fight the RIGHT way.

Now, I have no way of knowing if these people were Christians, but they certainly displayed a Christian principle for us all.

In 1 Peter 2, starting in verse 19, we’re told that it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. It says Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that we would follow in His footsteps.

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

What? 

You mean we’re supposed to let God be the judge?

Now that’s hard.

judge with gavelSometimes our first instinct is to be prosecutor, judge and jury, especially when we are treated in ways that are highly offensive or undignified.

But the Bible tells us in Romans 12:19 that it’s just not our job.

“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room
for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge;
I will repay,” says the Lord.”

I know it’s hard. And I know it may take everything we’ve got and then some to fight the urge to fight.

I mean Every. Single. Ounce. of courage, of self-control, of ‘nice’ that we’ve got in us.

But it’s worth it. God rewards it. And, honestly, it can be kind of fun.

I dare you to look for opportunities to overlook an insult, surprising the other person and the world. Anyone can hurl an insult back, right?

Let’s be different.

Let’s do stuff that no one sees coming. Like give grace. Like blessing those who curse us.

Brownie points if you can get past the gritted teeth and actually allow yourself to enjoy it.🙂

Thanks for letting me share and coming along side me on this backyard mission as I learn to love my neighbors better, especially those in my own home.

For anyone who wants to jump in on the Respect Dare, you can get your own copy by clicking here. Married women, I can’t encourage you enough to check out author Nina Roesner’s website to learn more about how to apply these principles in your marriage and all relationships. I speak from experience when I say it will change your marriage and it will change your life with gems like this:

respect dare quote

 Thanks for the love, my friends.

Texas love, ya’ll.