Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense [Prov 19:11]
Loving others is one of the most important and difficult commands Jesus gave us. We are a messy, broken, needy, and sinful people. We constantly deal with our own wounds and those of others. When someone wrongs me, I instantly feel a need for justice and fairness rise within me. I feel as if I have the right to be angry or even to exact revenge for the wrong they committed. Offense stirs up feelings of insecurity, pride, anger and frustration. But God can transform us into those who live without offense.
Jesus had more right to take offense and exact revenge than anyone else in all of history. But Jesus saw past all the offense to the wounded places of the soul of those who wronged him. In the face of the worst offenses and injustices, Jesus chose to offer grace, mercy and forgiveness – his dying prayer: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do [Luke 23:34]. Jesus lived his life free from offense and therefore was free to love others. He could look past expressions of brokenness to the hurts beneath the surface, and thus live with joy, passion, love and purpose.
Taking offense allows others to dictate your emotions and your quality of life. Your emotions and actions do not have to be dictated by the brokenness or sinful acts of others. You can choose how you will respond to others. Choose to pursue love and humility over vengeance and anger. Instead through the power of the Holy Spirit, constantly tap into the grace that flows from heaven through Calvary, and you will be able to love others selflessly and powerfully. Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and learn to live without offense.