In boxing, a counterpuncher is what they call a guy whose first instinct when you hit him is to hit you back.
Outside of the boxing ring, lots of people are counterpunchers. If you correct them, they escalate quickly and pound you like a construction worker driving a nail. If you raise your voice one level, they raise theirs two levels.
Some people will intentionally goad counterpunchers by saying or doing something to irritate and instigate. The hope is to elicit an overreaction, thereby making the counterpuncher look bad.
Admittedly, I have been guilty of this. I grew up in a rough neighborhood literally fighting at times to protect younger siblings and neighbor kids from bullies. In college, I boxed a bit for fun and was a natural counterpuncher.
Counterpunching works well for boxing and war. Counterpunching does not work as well for friendship and marriage. Since meeting Jesus, this is a lesson He’s been teaching me.
Jesus was, thankfully, not a counterpuncher. People constantly said and did things to provoke Him. But, He was constantly able to respond in an appropriate manner rather than reacting in an angry manner.
One example is found in John 7:20 where, “The crowd answered, “You have a demon!” Yes, a crowd decided that what needed to trend on Twitter that day was #Jesusdemon. It just goes to show that a crowd is usually crazy.
Jesus did not get drug down into the mud with the mob. Instead, He kept his dignity and responded appropriately. Rather than attacking them, He instructed them. It just goes to show: always take the high road of maturity and restraint, because there’s less traffic and wrecks there.
Are you a counterpuncher? Who most quickly gets you to respond in an unhealthy way? What can change?