DayBreaks for 3/18/14 – The Perfect Comeback
One more from my minister friend, Barney Cargile: It was one of the great political rivalries of past days: Winston Churchill vs. Lady Astor. On one occasion Lady Astor chided Winston with this insult: “If you were my husband, I would poison your tea.” To which Churchill responded, “If you were my wife, I would drink it!”
Face it, there’s a part of us that enjoys such a sharp insulting comeback. You’re watching a movie where an arrogant know-it-all who insults others throughout the film, gets humbled by a perfect comeback. You practically want to stand up and cheer. But in real life? If you’re like me, more often than not, you suffer from “delayed intelligence”. You know what I mean. Someone insults you, or even worse, they insult God or his word. You feel compelled to defend your honor, or God’s honor (hmm); and you come up with the perfect “comeback”, the quintessential witty response that will forever put the insulter in his place. The only problem is…you come up with it two days later! Oh, if we could only find the cure for “delayed intelligence!”
But when it comes to following Jesus, well…perhaps “the perfect comeback” might not help advance God’s kingdom. Maybe the reason we experience “delayed intelligence” is God’s way of preventing us from responding in the flesh. Even when it comes to “defending God” (BTW, I’m still searching for the scripture that tells us to do that), the “perfect comeback” usually lands us right in the middle of a religious argument, which I’m guessing you’ve discovered, as I have, turns out to be utterly fruitless.
Perhaps we need to search in a different direction for “the perfect comeback”. What if “the perfect comeback” turned out to be a display of humility, or an apology, or an act of love? Instead of putting an insulter in his place, perhaps we need to show him the love of Jesus and”turn the other cheek” (Matt.5:39). It’s not as much fun, but which is more Christ-honoring? Romans 12:19-21 tells us, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord…If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head…overcome evil with good.” Instead of mourning over delayed intelligence, thank God that he didn’t provide you with what you considered “the perfect comeback”. Instead, His Spirit prompted you to humbly respond in love…and in the end, that really did turn out to be “the perfect comeback”.
Galen: Chances are good that you’ll have the opportunity to throw out a few zingers today. How about throwing out some compliments or words of blessing and appreciation instead!
PRAYER: Let us hold our tongues and speak in a way that honors You today! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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