Yes, it is that wonderful time of year when family gathers round to thank God and insult each other. Psychologists can explain to us why we save our worst behavior and rudest comments for our families. Who cares whether it is due to a lack of healthy boundaries or to reverting to childhood in familiar settings. Time spent with our families can leave us hurt and/or guilty for wounds we received or inflicted.
With this in mind, our Hidden Heart marriage class has a homework assignment for the holidays:
“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” I Peter 3:9 NLT
We claim to be followers of Christ, instead of followers of feelings and the flesh. The Blessing For Insult Challenge is a true test of whether we walk-the-walk or just talk-the-talk. But, let’s talk turkey, THIS IS HARD – especially when you are tired, or trying your hardest, or already nursing unforgiveness.
For people like me who tend to “speak now” instead of “forever holding my peace,” this is the final frontier of sanctification, particularly with my family. Here is my Blessing for Insult Action Plan for this holiday season:
• Memorize I Peter 3:9: Have this verse on speed dial!
• Pray, pray, pray: This is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. Don’t attempt this in your own strength.
• Keep your eyes on the prize: So often I settle for winning the argument and miss out on the grand prize: being more like Jesus.
So, pass the dressing and perhaps a strip of duct tape for my mouth. We are praying that you have a blessing-filled holiday … those blessings that you will give and those that you will receive from God for obeying His Word.