When people experience a trespass, i.e. someone violating their boundaries, they will either forgive or they will have an occasion to stumble. In fact, the word “offense” means “to trip, cause to stumble, to scandalize.” So, when someone declares “I am offended,” they’re really saying “I‘m tripping up because of what this other person did.”
We could easily forgive, send away this offensive pain we feel, and that would be the end of it. But usually we want the other person to pay. We don’t want them to get better than they deserve so we hold on to the offense and that’s the beginning of our self-destruction.
The reason we need to take heed when others offend us is because of the way we justify holding onto the pain, slandering the offender, and/or exaggerating (lying about) what they did to us. We tend to think their offense justifies our ungodly behavior; but the truth is, even if we have an excuse for our behavior, it still hardens our heart, darkens our understanding and undermines our faith.
Thinking we need for the other person to apologize or face punishment for us to be free from our pain is complete self-deception. Our bitterness holds us (not them) in a prison of darkness. We are the ones who benefit when we send away the offense of others. This week as we explore the secrets of Getting Better than You Deserve you can enter into an entirely new place with God. CLICK HERE to listen now!