Monday, March 19, 2012

Overlooking Offenses

If you can be easily offended, you will be easily offended.

My husband shared this idea with me years ago, and it still resonates.  Have you ever encountered a person who was characteristically quick to take offense?  It's terribly uncomfortable.  If you care about keeping the peace, then you find yourself walking on eggshells, speaking carefully to phrase things just so, and keeping your guard up.  When you're in this type of company, you're never at rest.  You're too occupied keeping the sleeping giant asleep, worried that one wrong step could unleash ugliness.

We are told that it's to our glory to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11). 

Overlooking offenses doesn't come naturally.  We want to have the final word, to tell others how badly we've been hurt or slighted, or to demand that wrongs against us be righted.

When my children make a mess -- not just a little mess, but one that undoes all that I've just done or adds a significant amount of work into my already-full day, my initial reaction is to take offense.  The internal dialogue begins.

They did this to me.  Don't they know how hard I work to keep this house in order?  Don't they see how much this inconveniences me?  How much it adds to my workload?  They don't.  They have no idea, so I'm going to tell them.  I'm going to let them know how bad they've been.

When I'm thinking this way, the words that tumble from my mouth aren't beneficial.  They're not words that that teach my children to value others.  They're not words that train them how to play neatly and clean up properly.  Rather, they're words that dredge out what they did wrong, words that harp on my own hurt, words that reek of offense.

How contrary this is to the nature of God.  God, who removes our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west.  God, who did not open his mouth when he was afflicted.  God, who did not retaliate when he was hurled with insults, and who made no threats when he suffered.

Let my glory be in the fact that I overlook and forgive offenses.  It's what God does for me each and every day.

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4 comments:

  1. What a beautiful reminder of all that we have been given, and forgiven.  Thank you.

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  2. Danielle CooperMarch 19, 2012

    so true, great reminder thanks!

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  3. X-alecia-xMarch 20, 2012

    Amen! Great post!

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