It is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. – Proverbs 19:11b
Solomon was not one for being short on knowledge and wisdom. In a dream one night God asked him what he wanted. He could have had anything. He chose wisdom with which to lead God’s people, Israel, rather than long life, wealth, or anything else. We can be sure that Solomon had more than ample opportunity to be offended by people, even those in his own family like his brother, Adonijah, who tried to usurp the throne of David. It must have taken a great deal of godly strength and patience not to go after his brother.
Jesus would preach much later in time that offenses would come. He said it was not a matter of if but when. Also, Jesus said there would be great woe to the one committing the offense. In fact if we look at this notion of offenses, we can see that it is really nothing more than just a bait stick used by Satan to lure us into sin and an attempt to get us to take a step away from God.
John Bevere wrote an entire book and preaches an entire series of messages on this topic of offenses. He titles it the “Bait of Satan.” He speaks of the Greek word, scandalon, which is the bait stick in a snare or trap that when tripped activates the trap. On a mouse trap it is the little piece that holds the cheese on one end and holds back the spring-loaded wire that kills the mouse. Satan places “cheese” in front of believers all the time and hopes they will take the bait. The cheese might be something another person says to upset the believer. Or, it may be something another person has done that irritates and upsets the believer.
The secret to the whole situation is for the believer to face the offense but not sin. This is done by not retaliating against the offender. Instead, the believer MUST forgive the offender and LOVE that person no differently than how God loves us. There is no sin in getting angry, but there is sin if one retaliates. When we overlook an offense and love the person with grace and forgiveness, we actually love them as God does. Doing so will also have rewards for you in that you don’t get all bent out of shape, don’t do or say something you’ll later regret, and do maintain your closeness with God. You actually become more like your heavenly Father with offense you turn over to Him and forgive the offender.
God could have easily been offended daily by every person on the planet for the rebellion they commit against Him, yet He chooses to love us enough to have given His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sins and offenses. If God chooses to overlook our offenses against Him through love and grace and mercy and forgiveness, how much more should we do likewise toward those who offend us? The other thing is that when you take the bait and let yourself be offended, your spirit, soul, and body can be negatively affected. Is that how you want to live? If you have offended someone, go seek forgiveness from the offended one and God. If you have been offended, forgive the offender and love them as God does.
Father, how many times have I offended people in my conduct and speech? I have done so without even knowing that I have offended others. I hereby release all those who have ever offended me and forgive them for any wrong committed against me. I don’t want people to be mad at me for wrongs I’ve done, and I don’t to be mad at those who have done something I could have taken wrongly. I want to live in peace with all people, as much as it is possible. Lord, I ask Your forgiveness if I have offended anyone at anytime anywhere. Help me to identify those who are hurting because of my wrongful acts, so that I may go and seek reconciliation with them. I won’t seek revenge against anyone. Vengeance is Yours and Yours alone. I leave that up to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.