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.
1 Peter 2:23
Wounded by words
Words are powerful. I think we can all look back and pinpoint something someone said that was so deeply painful that you remember it years later. Between your ears, you hear echoes of someone telling you that you’re stupid, you’re fat, that you’ll never amount to anything. You see memories playing in your mind, mocking and ridiculing you.
The things that people say to us and about us wound us more deeply than we can imagine. As a parent I’m beginning to realize that I have to be far more careful with my words. Even things I say to my children in an off-handed, joking way, often hit home in their hearts and wound them deeply.
Peter has some advice when words wound and scar us deeply. He shows us what Jesus did: nothing. He took it! He let them say whatever they wanted. He remained silent.
I sometimes wonder why Jesus didn’t respond, especially when their words were flat out lies. Sometimes people say things I don’t like, but if it’s the truth I can’t say much to them. If those awful things are lies, I can hardly stand by and let them ruin my reputation. There are times when I feel like I can’t stay silent. But Jesus did!
Did you catch why?
He entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He put himself into the hands of his Father who had said, “This is my Son. I love him! Listen to him.” He put himself into the hands of his Father, who would get justice for all their lies through his submissive son. He put himself into the hands of his Father who loved him dearly.
That’s where we’ll find healing and hope for the wounds that words bring. We’ll put ourselves into the hands of our Father who says of us, “You are my child. I love you.” We’ll put ourselves into the hands of our Father in heaven who says that he will defend us from every evil attack and bring us into our homes in heaven. We’ll put ourselves into the hands of our Father. There we’ll find peace, joy, and healing even when hateful words fly.
Prayer: Dear Father, the hurtful things that people say hurt me deeply. When their words wound me, remind me that I am yours and that you love me just as I am. Remind me that I am pleasing in your sight. Remind me that I am in your hands. Heal the scars in my heart from their words with healing of your Word. Amen.
This Lenten series we’re taking a look at the scars we all have from our sin and from the sin of others. Ultimately it’s not about our scars, but rather the scars of Christ which he took for us on the cross.