Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 21, 2019
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
We all experience messy relationships now and then when we are wronged by someone. When this happens, it’s natural to be hurt, and it’s normal to feel injustice has occurred. But it’s a choice to hold onto offense.
Offense is more than just being angry. It’s more than being hurt. Offense is holding onto a grudge, nursing bitterness, and allowing the wrong to change your heart condition and contaminate your emotions and thinking.
Offense is dangerous because it makes the person who is offended blind. If you choose offense, it will make you blind to the other person’s positive qualities and causes you to focus on their negative traits.
You may make a mental list of all the ways they are irritating, the ways they bother you, and other ways they have wronged you. And, if you are offended enough, it will cause you to vilify them in every way.
Offense will also cause you to accentuate your good traits—and focus on how you deserve justice. It will also blind you to your own sin, which may be the sin of pride.
Offense causes hardness of heart. This happens in marriages all the time. Perhaps a wife disrespects her husband by making a negative comment about him in front of his friends. Understandably, this hurts him. But rather than seek to resolve the conflict by asking his wife to respect him in public, and explain how her comments made him feel, he becomes hurt, then angry, then offended.
And once he feels offended, he is blinded. Now all he can see are her flaws, he can’t see her good traits. Not only is she disrespectful, but she isn’t a good housekeeper, she spends too much time with her friends, she has an irritating voice and he hates the way she laughs.
Offense blinds. And when it blinds, it destroys relationships.
This is why it’s so important to care for the condition of our hearts and not hold onto grudges, offenses, and wrongs. Our hearts affect how we interpret the world around us and how we perceive others too.
To decide not to hold onto offense does not mean you don’t stand up for what’s right. It doesn’t mean you’re a doormat. It means you know which battles to fight, but also protect your relationships and your heart from offense. This means you choose to forgive and you do not allow your heart to become hardened.
If you want to maintain good relationships, in your marriage, with your friends, or with other loved ones, don’t give into offense.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).
Lord, make me wise and self-controlled so that I don’t give in to the deception of offense. Help me to be quick to forgive, and give me a humble heart, not prideful or impatient. Amen.
The next time you experience a conflict in a relationship, take note of your heart condition. Before offense has the opportunity to grow in your heart, confess any pride you may feel, and forgive. If needed, address the wrong with the other person.
Healing comes when we choose to forgive and you do not allow your heart to become hardened. #WisdomHunters #healing
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