A man’s wisdom gives him patience;
it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Last week’s Monday Minute dealt with forgiveness. Forgiveness is not always easy to offer. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a way we could avoid practicing forgiveness so frequently? I think we just might uncover that secret today.
It’s called not taking offense in the first place.
To be clear, there are times when an outright sin is committed against us, and the transgressor needs to repent and we need to forgive.
But we’re faced with multiple instances each day in which we can choose to take offense…or choose not to. The choice we make will be determined by what we’re assuming about people.
Like when the cashier is rude at the grocery store. Do I become indignant and fume about her audacity in treating a customer that way? Or do I choose instead to wonder what might be going on in her life right now that is weighing her down, perhaps even offering up a prayer for her on my way home?
And what about when that relative seems to favor another family member over you? Do you retaliate with silent treatment or passive aggression? Or do you humbly realize that God ordains some relationships to be closer than others, and that another person being held in human favor does not diminish your identity in God’s eyes?
How about when word gets back to me that someone has been speaking unkindly about me behind my back? Do I react pridefully and vindicate myself by angrily pointing out that person’s flaws? Or do I sincerely examine my heart for wrongdoing, and trust God as my one Defense and my Righteousness?
Please be aware of what overlooking an offense is not. It’s not patting myself on the back for holding my tongue, as my anger festers and simmers on the inside.
Choose instead to let it go. Choose to assume the best about people. Choose to reject the hurt feelings or the angry attitude. Choose to not receive the evil that may or may not have been intended. Choose not to return with evil in your reply or in your thoughts. Choose to recognize the abundant grace you yourself require each day. I have a feeling that if we had a clue how often we hurt others unintentionally with a careless word or even an ungracious expression, we would be much more generous in extending grace to others.
Want to avoid having to forgive?
It is to your glory to overlook an offense.
Written by Jennifer Clarke