A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
Yes-today we are going there-straight to the topic of being offended. Dare I say if you haven’t been offended a time or two in life, you may be the one and only. Offenses seem to occur as often as a windy day in the panhandle of Texas. They both will whip you around and leave you highly frustrated. The debris they bring into your pathway can be downright annoying. It is never welcomed and doesn’t exactly bring out the best in a person.
Offenses can happen in many forms but it usually stems from someone’s words or actions. You know-those sly cutting remarks made by a co-worker, the off-hand statement by a family member, the “grandpa” or “raging” driver, the person who just let their car door slam into your vehicle, the twenty-fifth call about an extended warranty on your vehicle, (P.S. stop calling me-the car is 11 years old!) or let’s just say it—the media!
Try going one whole day with either not being offended personally or not running across someone who was offended. Riot, chaos, looting, as well as many other actions fill the TV screens, radios, and social media pages due to being offended. It seems to be present every day of our lives regardless of where we go. People feel betrayed, ignored, misrepresented, neglected, etc. and anger and bitterness begin to rise. Honestly, it stirs up so many emotions within us.
Most offenses can be defined as an “annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one’s standards or principles”. They hurt and 9 times out of 10 we feed them and allow the offense to become a sin on our part. Usually, that’s what’s next.
But, what is God’s perspective?
1. Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us to rely on the truth of God’s Word and not our fickle heart. Unfortunately, it can be deceitful.
2. Scripture tells us to do everything possible to overlook an offense and rely on God’s wisdom (Proverbs 19:11).
3. Extend love through God’s perspective and do not seek revenge or hold a grudge (Leviticus 19:18). Romans 13:10 reminds us that love is the fulfilling of God’s law.
4. Remember the redemption you received on the cross while Jesus was crying out “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!” Jesus forgave while being offending—right in the smack dab middle of it! So, decide ahead of time to embrace forgiveness as your response and give it over to God.
5. Bring your thoughts under God’s authority. Cling to 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 and choose patience and kindness at all times. Take your anger to the throne room and leave it there.
6. Invest in the fear of the Lord. Have reverence for His ways and allow Him to reign over your heart, mind, and soul. Refer to Proverbs 19:23 and remind yourself of the life and contentment found in fearing the Lord.
My friend, you will be offended. But in the midst of it, will you choose to honor God or offend Him? That’s what’s next.