Are You Offended?

“Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive) but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks.  Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits. [Proverbs 3:7] Romans 12:16-21 Amplified

Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought of what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.  Proverbs 20:22

If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. Deuteronomy 32:35

But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Proverbs 25:21-22

Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.” Romans 12:21

We all have times when we have been desperately hurt by someone, and we find it difficult to move on.  The enemy (Satan) wants us to stay offended, and wants to cripple us with anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness.  We may find ourselves repetitively playing a recording in our minds of what someone has done to us. We convince ourselves that forgiving is just too hard, (“but you just don’t understand what they did to me!”) and we end up hurting ourselves by disobeying God.  How do we get past offenses?

Turn it over to God.

He tells us, “cast your cares upon Me…” He says in Philippians 4:13 that he will give us the strength we need to do whatever we need to do!  He tells us to “strip off our old nature…” It requires action on our part and a decision to “put on “ our new nature in Christ. This can be difficult if you were raised in an environment of fault-finding, holding grudges, and finding pleasure in conflict.  We can ask the Holy Spirit to renew our minds, moment by moment, and choose a life of peace and joy. (Romans 12:2)

Meditate on God's goodness and what He did for you on the cross.

According to Isaiah 53, He bore ALL your sins.  Unforgiving people tend to be self-righteous but the truth is no one is perfect and if you expect people to be perfect, you will be sorely disappointed.  You will be unhappy and frustrated all of the time. Plan on forgiving others often, because those closest to you will disappoint you. Remember Matt 6:14-15  “For if you forgive people their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go and giving up resentment], your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.”  

Believe the best about others!

Instead of nit-picking and fault-finding, why not look for the good in others? God made us all unique.  The Scriptures say to do unto others as we want them to do unto us. I don’t know about you, but I want people to love and accept me, imperfections and all.  I want to choose to love others as well, and look past their imperfections. “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person…” 1 Cor. 13:7. This doesn’t mean that we have to give up healthy boundaries.  We can communicate in love without being a doormat.

Pray for those who have offended you.  

A dear friend of mine in ministry put it very succinctly:  Pray for their blessing, welfare, and protection.

Make a choice and forgive.

The benefits of forgiveness are endless. It is a command (not a suggestion) of God and it pleases Him when we obey.  He says in Ephesians not to let the sun go down on our anger, and not to give the devil any room or opportunities. He also indicates in Mark 11, that our prayers are hindered when we do not forgive others.  Bitterness and resentment affects every relationship, and is even believed to be responsible for various diseases. Someone once said, “Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and hoping it kills the other person.”  Make a choice to forgive. “Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it!”

Who do you need to forgive today?