“Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.” Proverbs 12:16
I will admit I needed to take a better look at the word overlook. And while I was add it, I took a look at prudent.
- to fail to notice, perceive, or consider
- to disregard or ignore indulgently, as faults or misconduct
- to look over, as from a higher position
- to afford a view over; look down or out upon
- to rise above
- wise or judicious in practical affairs; sagacious; discreet or circumspect;sober.
- careful in providing for the future
Overlooking is not one of my strong suits. I am more of a pointer-outer. Even if I am able to control my temper, sometimes I “think” it is “wise” for me to address the insult. I mean, why should they get away with insulting me or anyone else?
I guess I am of two minds on this girls. Yes, overlooking insults is wise. When we make the choice to overlook, we demonstrate self-control to those around us. People watching, and people are always watching, see evidence of God’s character. We have the opportunity to display real godly living. All this is good and is sure to make our Heavenly Father smile down on us. Yes, walking away is a wise choice.
We do have another choice, one in which also have the opportunity to demonstrate self-control and God’s character. We have the choice to meet the one insulting us face to face. Friends, in the name of sweet Jesus, I don’t believe God expects His children to be mistreated. Even Jesus, with great wisdom and choosing His words carefully, faced His accusers. You may be thinking, “But He was God.” Yes, He was God but He was also man.
Approaching the one who is hurling insults must be done after much prayer and time, perhaps even some counseling. Solomon says “we are a fool at once.” I understand this to mean not taking the time to wait and pray, we are less likely to speak with the wisdom it takes to defuse the situation. Will we react or respond. Waiting and praying equips us to respond with wisdom.
How do we know when to overlook and when to approach? We stayed prayed up. This means praying everyday, having a special time to meet and talk things over with God. We stay connected and submitted to our power source. He will tell us what choice to make and when. And because we are prayed up, we will hear and understand His voice.