by Greg Gwin
It's common to hear the young folks speak of someone "dissing" another person. That is a shortened slang word for "disrespecting," which means to treat with contempt or rudeness. Sadly, this happens far too often. In fact, it happened to me just the other day. The offender was a man in a position of governmental authority. I was a simple law-abiding citizen. In a verbal exchange, he was rude and mean-spirited. He "dissed" me!
Later, I was thinking about this episode, and considering what I could have said or done. I imagined quick and cutting replies I could have made. This man needed to be taught a thing or two. "Put him in his place," I thought. Or, perhaps I should have gotten his name and notified his superiors concerning his inappropriate behavior. Let his bosses deal with this arrogant fella. After all, if he is to be out in the public, he needs to know how to relate to others in the right way. I was angry -- downright mad -- and there was surely some way to "get even" with this haughty, obnoxious individual.
But then, it occurred to me that it didn't really matter. So what if he was rude? It didn't harm me in any significant way. The only damage was to my pride, and that isn't important at all. In fact, the only thing my pride does is get me in trouble. He "dissed" me, but I'm no worse for the episode.
Our Lord taught us that when our pride is assaulted we ought to "turn the other cheek" and "go the extra mile" (Matthew 5:38-42). The only reason this is hard is because we are tempted to "think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think" (Romans 12:3).
We are not implying that such "disrespect" is OK, or that it is excusable. Neither are we saying that God won't hold men accountable for such things. But, the lesson for us is that we learn to live with it in a way that will not harm our relationship with the Father or our influence on others. In the final analysis, that's really all that matters.