Overcoming An Offense… “An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.” Proverbs 18:19
What happens when you offend another? How do you deal with the awkwardness? You probably feel embarrassed, and regret saying or doing something that has weakened even severed the relationship. However, though hard, there is a process of penetrating hurt feelings and healing the heart. The Lord’s desire is for us to first work out relational differences on earth and then reconcile with heaven. The words of Jesus are clear.
Jesus said, “If you enter your place of worship and, about to make an offering, you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God” (Matthew 5:23b-24, TM). An offence is a huge obstacle, especially when you are ignorant of its occurrence. But ignorance is not an excuse.
When you approach an offended friend be careful not to say, “If I offended you …”. Instead, own it by confessing, “I am so sorry I offended you”. Though your offence may have been unintended, by you taking responsibility with humility and grace, it opens the door for their forgiveness. Be patient, for their guard may be up, and it takes time for a grudge to go away. Continue to slay them with severe kindness. Unconditional love lingers long.
Reconcilable differences become a hopeful example to others who face similar situations of relational severance. Pursue your insulted friend as Jesus pursued you, with unrelenting love. He said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:11). Persistent prayer melts away the cold bars of an offended heart. How can I humble myself and own what I did? Have I clearly confessed my sin and ask for forgiveness? Am I contributing to the healing process? “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16a).
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading?
How will I respond?
September 29, 2022
“Generosity sets us free from the curse of self-centered living.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 29, 2022 Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse. Proverbs 28:27, ESV Close to my home, there is a grocery store that frequently has people outside [...]
September 28, 2022
“Wisdom is available to humble and teachable hearts, who trust in and love the Lord.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 28, 2022 If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He [...]
September 27, 2022
“God’s grace fills in the gaps of all that you are not.” Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 27, 2022 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest [...]