Biblical Insults

I often wonder how those who use strong language all the time cope, when they’re confronted with a real problem, and realize that there are no stronger ways to express their feelings. And what about insults? Realize it or not, we all use them, in the certainty that the other person deserves them.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

No, dear reader, I haven’t gone woke. Wokeness, a fake righteousness, is hypocritical, attacking those who have different cultural backgrounds to the preacher of wokeness; differing ways of communicating, of belief and conviction. It’s an attempt to usurp the moral high ground and to alter the landscape of morality.

However, that’s not at all to say that we shouldn’t put a guard on our mouths and our thought processes. For example, It occurred to me one day that I should not be hurling insulting words at the driver who cuts me off or who gets in my way, because Jesus said:

But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire (Matthew 5:22).

Photo by Ernie A. Stephens on Unsplash

Such an attitude is very common in most of us in our time. We tend to be critical of those who we think have got in our way or who have offended us. What we need is a forgiving and a forebearing spirit, in which we think and feel love and mercy for our fleshly brothers and sisters. However, when you read through Scripture (you don’t? You should) you find many occasions on which certain terms we consider to be insults are used, by apostles, by Jesus, and by God the Father. Of those more well-known BIblical insults is this one:

The fool says in his heart,
    “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
    there is no one who does good (Psalm 14:1).

Search and you will easily find in the Bible people being defined as “simple”, “unwise”, “arrogant”, “lost”, and a host of other negative terms which we don’t normally associate with godly pronouncements. Jesus Christ, on one occasion, identified religious leaders of his time many times over as “hypocrites”:

 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matthew 23:27).

It seems there really is a time and place to put someone in their place, verbally speaking. But where and when is that time and place? Being fallen in our human nature, aren’t we in danger of that hell-fire that Jesus warned of? I think we need to remember that God’s perception is born of perfection and holiness: He knows when to “call it”. God’s motivation is true, and that’s the secret: correct motivation. If we intend to hurt someone, or if we are just short on patience or understanding, we tend to just blurt out what should not be said. That’s why, on one occasion, when the apostle Paul had his own outburst:

“God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! (Acts 23:3)

… he apologized:

 “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’” (verse 5).

When God calls someone a fool, it’s because they are a fool, and God is simply telling the truth. But if we call someone a fool, our attitude and our manner may betray incorrect motives. Our motivation for being critical is often faulty. We need to examine our own words before they come out of our mouths-not when it’s too late. That other person may or may not be lost, but I try to bear in mind that Jesus Christ died for him/her just as he died for me.

Thanks for reading! The following space is to get some of those unpleasant ads out of your face: to distance my post from the stuff you and I would really rather not see!

Space-the final frontier!

Space, space, all over the place!

Have you seen the price of fish lately? It’s ridiculous!

And the chips!

Fish and chips used to be poor man’s food. Now there is no poor man’s food.

That’s it-‘bye!


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