I’ve become acquainted with offense these last few months and there are two things I’ve learned:
- Sometimes there is a blessing on the other side of the offense.
We live, work, and are in relationship with flawed human beings who offend us. It’s evitable that we will be slighted, disrespected, undervalued, overlooked, excluded, rejected, and hurt etc.
When offense comes, the temptation is to exact our own revenge. To repay evil for evil. To give place for our wrath.
However, in Romans 12:9-21, the Apostle Paul tells us to do the opposite. He admonishes us to behave like Christians:
- Let love be without hypocrisy;
- Repay no one evil for evil;
- Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good;
- Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. For in doing so, you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
In response to a recent situation that offended me, I didn’t want to behave like a Christian. I wanted to be prideful. I was right and this particular person(s) was wrong. I’ll just remove myself, I thought. If this person(s) wanted to do it their way, they could do it their way all by themselves. My ego was bruised, and I was operating from a place of rejection and pride.
Brief intermission for an important PSA:
Pride is sneaky. It’s deceptive and destructive. Arguably pride is the original sin. Pride deceives us into rebelling against God and His will, which prevents us from fulfilling the two greatest commandments: (1) Loving God and (2) Loving others.
Okay, back to our regular scheduled programming…
As you probably know, God was not onboard with my plan. He begin to work in my heart. He softened it toward this person(s) and the situation. I let go of the offense, forgave this person, and humbled myself. I did what I was initially going to do and God blessed me through this person. I WAS FLABBERGASTED…but in a good way!
I wish I could tell you that the offenses stopped, but a few more came in succession. This time from different people. Blatant disrespect. It was at this time that I learned my second lesson:
- Sometimes repeated offense is a sign that it’s time to close a door and end a relationship(s).
In Apostle Paul’s directive to behave like a Christian, in Romans 12:18, he wrote: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”
Sometimes in life, due to other people’s actions toward you, this becomes increasingly difficult to do. In those instances, you have to seek the Lord and ask Him what He wants you to do.
Is the Lord using this situation to grow you in love and forgiveness toward people you don’t like and who don’t like you?
Is it time for you to move? Sometimes because of the behavior of others, environments and relationships become toxic and unhealthy. At this point, the wisest thing you can do is remove yourself from the situation, forgive those people, and give them to the Lord.
Offense sucks. However, on this side of heaven it’s something that we have to deal with. We can’t stop the offenses from coming, but we can decide that we are going to handle them in a godly way that pleases the Lord.
Be encouraged! You are loved! ❤️