A particular line, a verse in the passage I’m studying, caused me to be cautionary. 

Again today, a word with a serious tone, unpleasant, almost intimidating. 

in·so·lent

ˈinsələnt/

adjective

showing a rude and arrogant lack of respect.

“she hated the insolent tone of his voice”
I walked away slowly thinking of my prayer. “Give me grace, help me give grace.”

I’d prayed before encounter, will be praying again. Conflict resolution, doing hard things, handling unavoidable resolutions I’m responsible for…I cower. 

I don’t feel strong.  

Weak, I feel weak. 

So, I’m looking towards my feet and I’m proceeding with thoughts and patient steps towards what will be my next step.

Sometimes like a “heads up” a feeling will linger, taking its time to be tangible, maybe pointing out the concern I already knew. 

People are not always kind; in fact, when faced with desperation they might be downright insolent. 

I had to look it up, the word “insolent” seemed so important for me to grasp, an angry sounding word shouting out of a Psalm, saying, “Listen up, Lisa; be aware.”

“Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. You are good and do good; teach me your statutes. The insolent smear me with lies, but with my whole heart I keep your precepts; their heart is unfeeling like fat, but I delight in your law. It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:66-71‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Me, the one who still maintains people are good, it’s just stuff that happens to them that makes them not so “good” or good hearted. 

When my children were little,  they’d tell me about a mean boy or girl, a bully or an arrogant peer. 

I’d caution them not to label, saying “Something must be bad at home.” 

I believe they believed me. 

Grown up children carrying scars all around, I notice the negative directed towards me and decide, most likely,  “Something bad must have happened or is happening now to cause their behavior.”

I look at the faces on the “jail report” and have to look away, it’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen, a newspaper with mugshots of people who lost their way and committed crimes.  Their expressions either lost or stoically arrogant and accepting of their label.

 I don’t allow myself to gawk over another’s distress. I look away wondering “their story” and think what a sad commentary on our society that people purchase this like glossy fashion magazine or news. 

They print this publication in color, the faces jump out from convenience store cover. 

Somewhere along the line misfortune tainted their choice to walk a straight line. 

I choose to believe, still. 

We all stumble in many ways. James 3:2


Empaths like me try to see the other side, still we’re blindsided at times when compassion doesn’t set things right and we encounter ugly face to face. 

When we’re forced to accept that our compassion is not always enough. 

It’s the bane of my work, do the best, let God do the rest and then “rest in that”. 

This, one of many what I call a “Lisaisms”.

I suppose there’s a reason God brings struggle to our lives, causes us to struggle with the hard things like unfairness, disappointment, disrespect and struggling people who put us in places that require us to stand firm in kindness. 

When being hard makes sense. 

To defer to imagining how we might feel in their place. 

Surely it’s important for me to know that I might encounter people I can’t change. Two days in a row, the word “insolent” in my verses. 

“Let the insolent be put to shame, because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:78‬ ‭ESV 

So, you speak truth in a way that you can maintain because bending one way or another will make it harder to hold onto you and your hope. 

You know yourself, important to hold fast. 

Because hope is bigger than insolence. Integrity more sustaining than offense and I believe God’s faithfulness more pervasive than the perverse of those whose actions are perverse. 

I’ve read and left in draft this post, thinking too dark.  

I’m cautious over readers who might turn away, the content just too contentious. 

But, we live in a difficult world. We’re surrounded by people with difficulties who are difficult. 

We ourselves are these who lean towards the ugly at times. We have to keep ourselves leaning or better yet, upright. 

Knees down, hands open, face to God. 

Someone said to me the other day, as we were talking of a loss of life, young stolen by drugs and then mental illness, incarceration and finally homelessness. 

 “We are all just a circumstance from the bottom.” Vickie

So, let me not grow hard Lord, keep as my philosophy the “but, for the grace God” thingy I say. 

Let me not become someone other than me because of hard faces or insolent words, trampled on hearts. 

Help me help others rejoice. 

“Those who fear you shall see me and rejoice, because I have hoped in your word.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:74‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Linking up with Jennifer Dukes Lee as she shares some solid motivation for us with fitness goals, boot camp, et al. 🙂

http://jenniferdukeslee.com/start-chain-reaction-good-habits/

3 thoughts on “Hard Words and Hope

  1. So true, it is important to have compassion and to remember that while we see people’s behaviour, there is often a lot more that we don’t know about going on under the surface. Not that it excuses it, but it helps us show grace. And so important to remember there is no room for pride and we all need God’s grace.

    Liked by 1 person

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