If you are holding offense towards someone step back and ask yourself this: Are you hurt, angry, or dismayed because you feel you were treated unfairly? You may say – I would never do what they did. Now ask yourself this: Are you treating that person as you want to be treated still? Have you talked about them, held angry thoughts towards them, had ill wishes towards them, hoped they will not prosper, etc.? Matthew 5:44 says: But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Well bummer. Even if they did treat us imperfect, now we are treating them imperfect also. Can we agree now you are both guilty? So why do we expect perfection from people when we know that God is the only one who is truly perfect?
Colossians 3:13 NLT says: Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. I think when we realize the seriousness of this it makes it so much easier to forgive others. I am imperfect in so many ways, why would I expect others to be perfect? Yes we may be imperfect in different areas (because we are all unique), but imperfect nonetheless! Matthew 7:5 says: Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the spec in your friend’s eye! Matthew 7:2: For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. By judging others we also are essentially saying- God I don’t think you will judge them accordingly- let me help. Holding offense in essence is not trusting that God is a righteous judge. When I realized this it made it so much easier for me to just let go of offense! Why would I hold on to that? That was never mine to carry!
If we are holding offense it is because we are looking for perfection from someone who can never offer it to us! God is the only one whom we can expect perfection! If you are a Christian and holding offense- you have forgotten what Christ has done for you! Have you not offended God? The Bible says we have ALL fallen short. Yet while we were in our sin God still forgave us! Romans 2:4 says: Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? Don’t take for granted God’s goodness towards you by not extending kindness, tolerance, and patience towards others. Galatians 5:14 says: For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Ephesians 4:31 says: Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Don’t take for granted God’s goodness towards you by not extending kindness, tolerance, and patience towards others.
We have a redwood in our side yard that has been having a hard time growing. I went down the other day to check it out and noticed a big vine growing all around and through it. It looks as though it is strangling the tree and preventing it from growing. I see harbored offense like this weed. It entangles us and prevents spiritual growth. It entraps us in many areas- leaves us feeling chained up. Simply pruning the weed of offense brings freedom and with that growth.
We can see by holding offense we are not in alignment with God’s word. We are blocking blessings he desires to give us by living in disobedience! You cannot control others actions but you can control your own! Live the abundant life by being obedient to the truth of what his word calls us to do! Choose to forgive and let go! There is freedom in forgiveness!….. but that will be another blog post.
Submitted by: Cameron & Amber