How do you overcome an offense that’s eating you up inside?
How do you heal from the offense that keeps soiling your relationship with those around you?
Offense is such a dark spirit that colours our perception of people.
If we don’t get rid of it, it will hinder us from fulfilling our divine destiny in Christ.
There have been times I took offense at my pastor, certain people and the path God was calling me to follow.
There were seasons I didn’t understand what God was doing and this offended me a lot.
But I’m grateful to God for helping me overcome.
Here’s how you can overcome offenses too
To overcome offense, first understand that it is inevitable
Offenses will definitely come.
This is because people are different from you and will act contrary to how you think and what you believe
Some may do it intentionally and some may be ignorant about it.
But your response is up to you, not anybody else.
Because when we react, it is based on what’s inside our hearts.
And our response reveals who we really are and what we have been feeding on.
We live in a world filled with broken and hurt people so it is impossible not to encounter their brokenness
I’m certain we’ve also offended others without knowing
But being able to understand that offenses will come prepares us ahead of time to forgive and forget
Which leads me to the second point
Learn to overlook offenses
For if you forgive others their offences, your Heavenly Father will forgive you alsoMatthew 6:14
I noticed that whenever I was offended at someone, it coloured my perception of them.
I viewed them from my ‘offense’ lens and so dismissed their teachings, counsel or advice.
It made me unable to see what God is doing through them.
Because they had done something to hurt me, or my expectation of them was let down.
But I was doing myself more harm than good.
God will definitely keep using them, but it’s left to me to rise above my bruised ego, overlook the offense and open my heart to learning from them.
An example is Noah.
Noah had spent his years building an ark to save his family, the remnants God had chosen.
After the flood subsided, Noah got drunk and fell asleep naked.
His Son Ham saw him and despised him by uncovering his nakedness when he could have shown love and overlooked the incident.
Guess what? His end turned out horrible
Then Shem and Japheth took a garment and placed it across their shoulders, and walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness.
Their faces were turned away so that they did not see their father’s nakedness. When Noah awoke from his drunkenness and learned what his youngest son had done to him, he said, “Cursed be Canaan! A servant of servants shall he be to his brothersGenesis 9:23-25
Because Love is supposed to cover a multitude of sins. -1Peter4:8
Spiritual growth strengthens you to give excuses for them
I know how hard it is to give excuses for others, especially in a situation that looks visibly wrong
But if Jesus could give excuses for those that nailed him on the cross, then we who desire his nature should do the same
Stephen prayed for his enemies as they stoned him.
Moses prayed to God on behalf of the stiff-necked Isrealites who preferred Egypt to God’s promise land
God keeps giving excuses for us even when we do wrong
So how much more us?
It means we don’t have any right to hold grudges or allow offense stand in our way of getting blessed
When we are able to give excuses for others, we will be able to overcome the offense in our hearts
In the past it was hard to give excuses for people.
And I realized it was because I wasn’t growing spiritually.
But the more we grow and become like Jesus, the easier it becomes to overcome offenses.
Here’s a helpful tip: Anytime the thought of offense arises, try to remember all their good deeds over their bad.
Pray for the person
You cannot stay offended at someone you pray for.
The more you pray for them (not against them) the softer your heart becomes towards them.
You’ll readily give excuses for them because you’re learning to see beyond their flaws.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:43-45
If Jesus is asking us to love our enemies, it means He has given us the capacity to love those that have hurt us
Your flesh cannot love the way God loves, but the Spirit of God dwelling inside of you can love beyond measure.
Trust God’s voice over your feelings
Perhaps you’re offended at God and how much he hasn’t come through for you the way you believed he would.
And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.Matthew 11:6
Following Jesus means we are going to get offended at many things.
At his teachings, at his lifestyle (because it’s contrary to Man’s definition of living) and at his plans for us.
Because the life of Jesus demands that we carry our cross, lay down our lives and follow him to the end.
It demands we losing our lives to find a place for Eternity
But the end of a thing is better than the beginning.
Whenever you remember God’s plan and purpose for you, you can always realign your heart and learn to trust and love him again.
Even when His plan doesn’t match yours, you must make up your mind to follow the lamb wherever he goes
Offense reveals who we really are inside
Whenever I got offended, it revealed a depth of my heart I was unaware of.
I realised it was because I thought highly of myself so whenever my expectations weren’t met by others, it made me upset.
Ever wondered why Jesus NEVER got offended at His father for sending him to the cross?
I once asked Jesus how he could allow mere men slap him and spit on him without retaliating.
Personally, I cannot even bear the thought
This is what I got:
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of NO REPUTATION, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.Philippians 2:5-8
If we have learned to be meek, offense will have no place to stay in our hearts.
Whenever offense comes, ask yourself.
- Why am I offended?
- Am I holier than God?
- Have I risen above my flaws?
- How is it possible to see the log in my brother’s eyes so clearly when mine is currently before me?
- Even God who is the Holiest of all isn’t offended by my flaws but is eager to see me change
- He is ever ready to give me another chance and listen to my prayers
When we assess ourselves, we are being honest and vulnerable. And God can help us, heal us and purify us.
But if we lie to ourselves, we will find ourselves slowly departing from God’s will.
Bloom with Love. Xx!