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Proverbs 19:11

A man’s wisdom gives him patience;

it is to his glory to overlook an offense.

Proverbs 19:11

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 thoughtsChoose 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.

Monday Minute: patience /

Written by Jennifer Clarke



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7 Replies to “Patience”

  1. Jane @ Devoted SONriser

    I really needed this reminder today. That last statement really got me thinking . . . I probably have offended others unintentionally due to differences in personality type or worldview, which I think ultimately boil down to different expectations people have for each other. I’ve been struggling with hurt feelings from someone for awhile now, but it makes sense to realize that they may be retaliating on me b/c of an offense I may have caused beforehand. Ugh. Who knows. Relationships are hard, but I love your biblical advice! Keep it up!

    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      You’re right, Jane! Personality differences can cause a lot of misunderstandings. A good friend of mine often remarks that “we’re all just people,” meaning that we’re all faulty and flawed, and we should expect each other to act that way! As often as I mess up, I don’t know why it surprises me or why I can sometimes take it so personally when other people mess up. I think “We’re all just people” might be a great motto for all of our interactions with others! Not as an excuse for our own sin, but as a way of reminding ourselves to lavish grace on others. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anon

    A friend of my son has a birthday the day after his, but decided to have her party on the day of my son’s birthday. They run in the same circles and this happens to be a milestone b-day, on April 1st. She cornered the evening with her party. I got over myself with that and prayed that the Lord would show me how to bless my son and not hold a grudge with her. I figured out how to have a brief gathering before her event and even invited her too. The second offense (I’m trying!) came when she asked my daughter (co-hosting) if she could change my son’s gathering to 3/31. Before we had a chance to reply, she texts, “never mind.” I just want to cry. I could be a gracious Christian if I didn’t have to interact with anyone else. :/ I’ve been praying, but this is under my skin and I can’t seem to shake it.

    • Jennifer Clarke Post author

      Hello, friend! I’m so glad you stopped by. Thank you so much for sharing from your experience. It’s one I think pretty much everyone can identify with. I’ve certainly had my share of similar situations!

      It often helps if I remind myself that the other person probably wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt me, but was instead probably not thinking about things from my perspective. It’s easier for me to overlook an offense when I assume it was accidental, and not deliberate.

      Beyond that, I also have to frequently check my own heart for a sense of entitlement that can tend to creep in. When I feel I’m entitled to certain treatment, I set myself up to be offended when my expectations aren’t met. Philippians 2:1-11 is a powerful reminder for me in my interactions with others; the mindset of Christ Jesus is one that prefers others, placing their interests above my own. This is NOT easy, by any means! It requires much prayer and time in God’s Word, refocusing my heart on Him, and away from myself.

      I just took some time to pray for you about this situation. I know you’ll want to spend this milestone birthday celebrating God’s goodness in your son’s life, and you’ll also want to look back on it with fond and joyous memories. I have prayed that God will lead you in handling this issue with grace, and that He will enable you to follow His leading. Thank you again for sharing your heart! What an encouragement to see this concrete application of biblical truth! May God bless you as you serve your family and serve Him.

      • Anon

        Thank you for your reply. 🙂 I agree with everything you wrote. His grace is sufficient for me. 2 Cor 12:9 I just need to walk in the Spirit, not in the flesh. I long to be done with the flesh.

        • Jennifer Clarke Post author

          Yes, His wonderful grace is enough! And oh, how I identify with your longing. I’ve actually been working on a post about the struggle between the Spirit and the flesh. Sometimes that struggle is so frustrating, because it seems never-ending! But I’m learning to be encouraged, because the struggle is a sign that God is at work…and that’s always a good thing. My flesh puts up a fight far more strongly and far more often than I would like; but one day the fight will be over, and God’s victory is guaranteed. Blessings to you, sweet friend!


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