Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3573

Jump Start # 3573

Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

  I’ve been teaching a class called, “Attitudes of Excellence.” In bringing our best to God, our attitudes matter. Attitude is not more important than obedience, but neither is it lesser important. They are both necessary. A gift can be ruined when given out of guilt or pressure or with a sorry attitude.

  More than sixty major American universities have had protests recently. Hundreds have been arrested. Many will be expelled. The passion of a mob and the thoughtless actions may have years of repercussions upon these college kids. There may be many changes in the administration positions of these schools. There are layers of social problems that have been magnified in these protests. Lacking respect for authority; ignoring rules; demanding when one is not in the position to make demands are some of the surface issues that are noticeable.

  My class that I taught focused upon the “Higher ground in conflicts and disagreements” that God’s people ought to take. Your attitude in disagreements is as important as what and why you disagree. One of the tiny points we looked at was name calling. Calling someone a name usually comes from a bitter heart that is filled with malice and slander. The intention of name calling is to hurt someone and shut down any reasonable discussion.

· Elisha was mocked and called “baldhead” by a gang of youths. Two bears came and killed 42 of them   (2 Kings 2:24)

· Ahab called Elijah a “troubler of Israel” (1 King  18:17)

· Jesus was called a “Samaritan” (Jn 8:48)

· Jesus was said to have a demon and been insane (Jn 10:20)

· Paul was said to be crazy or out of his mind by Festus (Acts 26:24)

· Paul’s preaching was called “unimpressive” by the Corinthians (2 Cor 10:10)

  Some thoughts:

  First, name calling is cruel and comes from a heartless soul. Often, when a person has no response, no supporting evidence and is in a corner, they will start tossing out names. Remembering the golden rule and letting our gentle spirit be known by all (Phil 4:5), ought to keep one from resorting to name calling.

  Second, name calling in an argument is like watching a tennis match. Back and forth the wicked and cruel names are tossed. Each time, more intense and more ugly. Louder and louder the disagreement grows until finally one has had enough and walks away, bleeding emotionally and even spiritually. Shame on brethren when we do this, especially to each other.

  Third, name calling is often an extreme exaggeration or even made up. There may be no truth what-so-ever, yet the person will toss it in an argument just to see the other person explode in anger. As long as people are calling each other names, there is little hope for a discussion to end well. Within a marriage, when name calling is used, it will take a long, long time to recover from that.

  Fourth, there are some terms that God uses that rightly describes and defines a person. When Jesus called the Pharisees “hypocrites” in Matthew 23, He wasn’t “name-calling” to get them to walk away. He called them that because that’s what they were. When Peter uses the expression “false teacher,” he is identifying what those people were. They were teaching things that were not true with God’s word. They were false teachers.

  The intention of name-calling is to hurt someone emotionally. 

  When someone has called you an unkind name, don’t fire back at that person. It’s a no win situation. Remember, when Jesus was reviled, He uttered no threats in return (1 Peter 2:23). Sometimes the best response is no response. Silence can be your best tool when talking with someone who is angry and spewing words intended to hurt.

  The higher ground in conflicts and disagreements. Easy lesson to teach. Tough lesson to practice.