OVERLOOK AN OFFENSE
February 20, 2019
Prayer: Lord, give us great wisdom, love and strength to not just overlook, but to overcome offenses with love.
Scripture: A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 19:11 NIV
As a human walking this earth, it is inevitable that you will suffer from some sort of offense. Someone, somewhere, will say something to you, or about you, that really hurts. Sometimes, it might be completely misunderstood – a miscommunication. Other times, it might be an opinion, not a fact, just a personal preference of no vital consequence. There are times, however, that the offense is a blatant lie about you. The lie may concern things you did not say or do, or twist something you said or did, but none-the-less, a lie. How do you respond when this happens? Have you ever confronted your accuser only to have it turn into an argument and an even bigger problem?
As an educator, it hurts even more when a parent of one of your students is the offender. As an educator, you are pouring out all of your energy, heart and knowledge into your students, their child; and the wound is deep when you are accused or attacked under false pretenses.
We know that, “two wrongs do not make a right.” Perhaps we should note that our wrong response only adds ammunition to their accusation. We may have been completely innocent to begin with, but our angry retaliation may leave us guiltier than anything they said about us.
I have had to learn from Scripture how to handle offense:
Prov. 19:9 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will perish. NIV
Romans 12:17- 21 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. NIV
In my Bible, the title above Romans 12:9-21 is, “Love.” We often think of 1 Corinthians 13 as the, “Love Chapter,” but these verse in Romans remind us that in obeying the command to, “Love our neighbor,” often means loving someone who hurts or curse you. Love is a verb; it shows itself in actions of humble service and providing for a need. Psychology tells us that hurting people, hurt people. Look deeper and pray for God to show you the “need,” in your accuser. Ask Him to reveal the root of their hurt and how you can minister to them.
Copyright Kathy Branzell. Email firstname.lastname@example.org