The NBA Conference Finals have begun, but the days leading up to the matchups have consisted of comments made by multiple players about guys from other teams. Spurred on by different motives, these subtle jabs have been going back and forth throughout the media. unnamed

After Lebron James slighted Steph Curry’s MVP win, Curry responded by saying, “I’ve gotten good at ignoring people.”

Russell Westbrook made comments downplaying Curry’s uniqueness, and Kyle Lowry got in the mix by telling ESPN’s, Doris Burke, that James was “one of the best players in the league, besides Steph Curry.”

Around and around we’ve heard players making silly remarks in front of the microphone. Of course, the media and fans have turned it into a big deal and have been thoroughly dissecting the sound bites.

Athletes may face more criticism than most, but all of us hear either a throwaway comment or an intentional dig from time to time. If coming from our spouse, parents, in-laws, co-workers, or boss, the words can sting and sometimes leave a lasting wound.

Although I know hurtful words attack our egos, I think we need to be less sensitive and not allow offhanded remarks become a bigger deal than intended. When negative things are said about us, especially because of our faith, we need to move on in forgiveness – as hard as it might be.

Paul gives us a very challenging way to look at this in 2 Corinthians 12:10 (ESV): “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Nobody likes insults or to be considered weak, but as followers of Jesus we can remain content because of the strength He provides us. It’s in our weakness we find strength in Him and can view hurtful words through a grace-filled lens. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I admit that insults sent my way often hurt. Please help me to not let them eat away at me or negatively affect me. Please remind me of my identity in Christ and help me to rely on Your strength in my weaknesses. Help me not to fear insults when standing up for my love and devotion to You. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.