Day 20 | Overlooking an Insult

Proverbs 12:16, “A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.”

“I’m so mad at you right now I could scream!” “Shut up, who do you think you are to talk to me that way?” “How dare you say that to me, you better stop before I snap and lose my temper!”  Have you ever reacted to an insult like this before? I know I have… many times.

However, Solomon in the above proverb is giving a better way for people to act who desire to be wise in conflict- the way of prudence.  The word “prudence” means, “the ability to control one’s self.”  Therefore, Solomon is boldly stating that when a person loses their temper at once they are acting like a fool.  On the other hand, when a person possesses prudence (self-control) they can overlook an insult.

Who do you think was the most prudent person in all-human history?  A person who overlooked many great offenses and didn’t lose His temper and act like a fool?  Jesus.  Jesus is the disciple’s greatest example of prudence in all of human history. He was God in the flesh, yet He allowed wicked men to insult him with mocking, spitting, beating, and even crucifixion.  And after all that they did to Him He still responded, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” Luke 23:34.

At the same time, overlooking an insult doesn’t mean becoming a doormat for everybody in life.  For there were times when Jesus did respond to the insults, like the time when he whipped the money changers and drove them out of the temple, Matthew 21:12.  However, Jesus always knew how to control His emotions even in those times.  In turn, make a habit to always keep your emotions under control and try to overlook an insult first before responding too quickly.

In conclusion, James 1:19-20 states, “19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”


Are you prudent when people offend you?


  1. Ask Jesus to forgive you of times when you lacked self-control.
  2. Ask God to give you the fruit of self-control (prudence).
  3. Next time you’re offended take a few moments before you respond to insure you’re in total control and when you do respond, do so with prudence.


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