We live with stereotypical responses built within us. I find myself trying to deny their existence, but there are moments that show me how little control I have over the values that I hold dearly close to my heart. I find myself very uncomfortable with my response to insolence; my reaction to those special moments filled with disrespect, cheekiness, impertinence, rudeness, and audacity that reach out and challenge our view of self and status. I wonder what how best to respond, especially when I am the insolent!
Solomon’s response was equally uncertain. “Punish the insolent – make an example of them. Who knows? Somebody might learn a good lesson.” (Proverbs 19.26)
Yet I wonder, what of the person? Is this was God does with my insolence?
This is a subject with which I am very familiar. I have always carried a healthy disrespect for authority. As I grow older I find myself accepting more and more responsibility for this attitude versus my earlier attempts to pin it on others or the environment around me. I would be the last one to suggest that this attitude should be developed, yet I do find God’s response as one that gives meaning to Solomon’s words.
The traditional response to comes with firmness and absoluteness wrapped in an iron glove. God response is, as I look, filled with kindness and confidence. There is no doubt that he understood my challenge, in fact he echoed it back to me in more ways than I possibly wanted. It was when I knew that he understood my message that he demonstrated his power, reach, knowledge, character, and insight; challenging me to make my statements again in the foreground of my new insights.
I cannot respond in anger to God’s answer. My response was, is simple – humble, thankful, worship. What else can one do when you see the pain that God faces everyday? How can you react differently when you glimpse the gift Christ’s death on your behalf? Is there any other model than God’s, described best by words like mercy, compassion, and love?