The spirit of the old adage “words will never harm me” is not the sentiment of the Scriptures. Words can hurt, even when directed from an unknown profile online. God made a world in which words are powerful. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21). And as public discourse falls to new lows in the digital age, God has not left us without a guide for how to respond to the pain when we are persecuted with words.
Leaf through the New Testament, and you’ll find verbal attacks on Jesus, his apostles, and his church on nearly every page. At times, these attacks escalate to physical persecution — the stoning of Stephen, the martyrdom of James, the imprisonments of Peter and Paul, the crucifixion of Christ — but what remains constant, and significant, is a torrent of verbal persecution against Jesus and his people. And
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