“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11
Anyone very close to me would probably testify that I am an EXTREMELY sensitive person. I read into the “tone” of emails and texts, consider non-praise the same as criticism, and assume my husband is hinting that I’m fat more than I’d like to admit. I may not always be wrong in my offenses, but I most certainly breed bitterness and an unhealthy attitude each time it occurs. As christians, I think we do this way too often. We are offended by lifestyles, politics, language, appearance, music… The list goes on and on. If we feel personally attacked or treated unfairly, it becomes so easy to justify. Yet regardless of the offender’s motive, the outcome is always a damaged relationship and a hardened heart.
“Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9
I once heard that offenses are not given, they are taken. Taking offense is a choice. You cannot control the words and actions of others, but you can control your reactions to them. And it is your responsibility to not allow those feelings to take root in your heart. Being quick to forgive and having the predisposition to give those thoughts to God assures that we can continue moving forward, unburdened by resentment.
Are offenses in your life robbing you of joy? Imagine the freedom we could live in if we learned to overlook offenses and instead find our identity in the fullness of Christ. Join me in giving those destructive thoughts to Him today.