The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I am respected and liked by many of my classmates; I'm rather nice to them in fact. However, as you know friends sometimes insult each other? I mean nobody would actually say "Haha, you're awful!" to a stranger, but they would to their friends.

I know this is all friendly stuff, but the problem is I'm usually the target for these insults because I'm labeled as the guy who's "impossible to anger." I know that these are just friendly insults, but sometimes they go overboard.

Truth is, I do get angry, but I'm not expressive. I've dreamed about beating some of my friends up, though I don't actually have any intention of doing so. I can express signs of irritation and anger, but nobody seems to take me seriously when I am angry because I can't keep a straight face during these situations. This is one of the things I probably have never solved. I also had the reputation once of being overly-religious and "chill."

Would I be justified if I just physically fight back to let it stop? That seems to be the only way I can think of.


Answer

You make it sound as if being a person who can control his anger as being something bad.

"He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city" (Proverbs 16:32).

"Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls" (Proverbs 25:28).

"So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20).

Yes, people often taunt those who are different. Most of the world has little or no self-control over their emotions -- especially teenagers. To find a teenager that mature is odd but in a good way. But those who are without control will attack out of envy or just because it is different. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:10-12).

Stooping down to their level might ease the tauntings from them, but it also makes you no better than them at the same time. Stay true to God keep your spirit under control.