When People Put You Down

There is a great quote that I hold onto from Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” But the problem is we consent to be put down far too often. There is never a shortage of people who, for one reason or another, want to make us feel inferior.

People can only put you down to the degree you look to them for your worth. “God paid a ransom to save you from the impossible road to heaven which your fathers tried to take, and the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver as you very well know. But he paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” (1 Peter 1:18-19 TLB).

When someone puts me down, I know that I don’t have to receive it. I can rationalize that they are behaving wrongly, and I need to just ignore them. But when someone makes fun of me or is condescending towards me, it evokes emotions that are often hard to control.

It’s more important to respond better than to respond faster. This applies to speaking, email, text, chat, etc…: “Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; for the [resentful, deep-seated] anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God [that standard of behavior which He requires from us]” (James 1:19-20 AMP).

Usually, people will put me down in order to lift themselves higher. They will either be unaware of what they are doing, or they don’t really care. Often the treatment is justified in their mind as they see themselves as higher than those around them. It takes a little person to try and make someone else feel small.

You can only fall as far as how high you are standing. “Your boast becomes a prophecy of a future failure. The higher you lift yourself up in pride, the harder you’ll fall in disgrace” (Proverbs 16:18 TPT).

People will use humor to make fun of you and think they are just being funny. But humor can be a weapon, and their words are the sword that cut into the souls they are coming after. If ever you make a joke at the expense of someone else, then you’re wrong. Don’t let your laughter hurt others.

It’s to your shame when you tell a joke at the expense of another. “Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them” (Ephesians 4:29 CJB).

Often people will use their intellectual knowledge in one thing to make you feel small because your knowledge is in another. It is the pride of a person that seeks to be condescending to another. To the degree you talk down on other people, your words are a force of destruction.

Nobody can put you down when you look up to Him for your significance. “Consider this: The Father has given us his love. He loves us so much that we are actually called God’s dear children. And that’s what we are…” (1 John 3:1 NOG).

If you want to live a life of peace, you must learn to live without frustration. You cannot always control how others treat you, but you can control how you feel. If you want to change, then pray for God to change you. If you want to change your heart towards another person, then pray for them.

Every problem is an opportunity to pray. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT).

The reason we get so angry when people put us down is that our pride wants us to stand higher. We think we are humble until we are humbled, and then we find we don’t really like it there. We think we are lower than we are until someone tries to make us feel lower.

People can only put you down if your pride is holding you up. “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor” (Proverbs 29:23 NKJV).

We need to learn to live at a higher level where we treat people with respect and dignity. Stop telling God what’s wrong with the other guy because He already knows. Rather ask Him to show you where your blind spots are in how you are treating others unkindly.

In the world, people put each other down, but as Christians, we should lift each other up. “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB).

One of the greatest things you can ever achieve in this lifetime you have on earth is to walk in humility. Humility is the defense against humiliation. Every act of humiliation directed at you either proves you are humble or reveals where you are not. Let your circumstances teach you.

It’s hard to humiliate someone walking in humility. “Before being ruined, a person’s heart is proud; before being honored, a person must be humble.” (Proverbs 18:12 CJB).

Blessings to you,

Paul Balius

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