Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
Proverbs 19:11 NLT
A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
Proverbs 12:16 NLT
I'm sorry to say but offenses are an inevitable part of human interactions. Whether intentional or unintentional, offenses can arise from words, actions, or even perceived slights. In a world where emotions often run high, understanding how to respond to offense is crucial. Can I remind you, God is faithful! He offers profound wisdom on this subject, guiding us toward a path of grace, forgiveness, and peace. The guidance of the Holy Spirit leads to life!
Offense can take many forms. It might be a hurtful comment from a friend, a misunderstanding with a colleague, or a deep betrayal by a loved one. In the heat of the moment, our natural response is often to feel hurt, angry, or resentful. However, the Bible encourages us to view offense through a different lens.
Proverbs 19:11 begins with the assertion that wisdom yields patience. Wisdom, in the biblical context, is not merely intellectual knowledge but the ability to apply knowledge in a righteous and godly way. It is the kind of wisdom that enables us to navigate life's challenges with grace.
Patience is a key component of this wisdom. When we encounter offense, our immediate reaction may be to retaliate, seek revenge, or hold on to the hurt. But patience calls us to pause, reflect, and consider a different course of action. It reminds us that hasty reactions often lead to more harm than good.
The verse continues, stating that it is to one's glory to overlook an offense. This implies that there is honor and virtue in choosing not to take offense to heart. Instead of harboring resentment or seeking retaliation, we are called to overlook the offense, allowing it to pass by without leaving a lasting mark on our hearts.
Overlooking an offense does not mean condoning wrongdoing. It means choosing to release the grip of anger and resentment from our hearts. This act of forgiveness is a powerful testimony to the transformative power of Christ's love in our lives.
In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who offends him. Jesus responds, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." This statement emphasizes the limitless nature of forgiveness. Just as God forgives us repeatedly, we are called to extend forgiveness to others, no matter how many times they may offend us.
Choosing to overlook an offense also aligns with the biblical principle of seeking reconciliation. In Matthew 5:23-24, Jesus instructs, "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift." This underscores the importance of restoring broken relationships and pursuing peace.
Proverbs 12:16 offers additional insight into the subject of offense. It reads, "A fool is headstrong and reckless, but a wise person remains calm when insulted." This verse highlights the contrast between wisdom and foolishness in responding to insults or offenses. The wise person chooses to remain calm rather than reacting recklessly, further emphasizing the importance of patience and self-control in the face of offense.
When we choose to overlook offenses, we experience several profound benefits:
Inner Peace: Letting go of offense brings inner peace and freedom from the burden of resentment.
Improved Relationships: Forgiveness and patience pave the way for healthier, more harmonious relationships.
Reflecting Christ's Love: Our actions become a reflection of Christ's love and forgiveness, drawing others closer to Him.
Spiritual Growth: Choosing to respond biblically to offense deepens our relationship with the Holy Spirit and spiritual maturity.
Honoring God: Ultimately, by following the biblical perspective on offense, we honor God's commandments and demonstrate His love to the world.
Proverbs 19:11 reminds us that wisdom leads to patience and that it is an honorable endeavor to overlook offenses. By choosing forgiveness over resentment and reconciliation over retaliation, we align our lives with the teachings of Christ. In doing so, we not only experience inner peace but also become instruments of God's love, extending His grace to those around us. In a world marked by offense, this biblical perspective shines as a beacon of hope, offering a path toward healing and reconciliation.
I come before you with a humble heart, seeking your guidance and grace in dealing with offense. Your Word teaches me the importance of wisdom, patience, and forgiveness in my interactions with others.
Lord, I acknowledge that offense is a part of my human experience, but I also recognize that you call me to respond differently, help me reflect your love and grace.
Give me the wisdom to discern when to overlook offenses, to choose patience over anger, and to extend forgiveness as you have forgiven me. Help me, Lord, to embody your love, Holy Spirit, showed me how to live in a way that promotes reconciliation and love.
I give you any hurts, resentments, or grudges I may be holding onto. I release them and let them go. Holy Spirit, release me from the burden of offense and fill my hearts with your peace. May my actions and attitudes be a testament to your transformative power and the depth of your love.
Lord, I also pray for those who I may have offended, I ask that you touch their hearts with your grace and bring healing to them. I repent. Help me to be peacemaker and agents of reconciliation in a world often marked by division.
May I carry the wisdom and love found in your Word, Thank you, Lord, for your grace and I invite you Holy Spirit to guide me.
In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.