Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense [Prov 19:11].
If we are to obey God’s command to love others, we must allow God to transform us into those who live without offense. Taking offense allows others to dictate your emotions and thus affect your quality of life. 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 take revenge for the wrong they committed. Offense stirs up feelings of insecurity, pride, anger and frustration.
Jesus had more right to take offense and exact revenge than any human in all of history. But Jesus saw past all the hard, aggressive, and angry exteriors of those who wronged him to the wounded places of their souls. In the face of the worst offenses and injustices, Jesus chose to offer grace, mercy, forgiveness, and compassion. Jesus lived his life free from offense and therefore was free to love others.
You have the ability to choose how you will respond to others. Your emotions and actions do not have to be dictated by the sinful acts of others. What would your life be like if you were free from offense? How much more peace and joy would you experience? Vengeance, anger, and frustration only robs us of the abundant life God intends for us. If God commands us to choose humility and compassion over offense, it must be a far better way to live.
Let’s look to Jesus as our model and choose to live without offense. Choose grace and humility over anger and compassion over anger. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you look past acts of brokenness to the heart of those who offend you. Ask him to heal your own brokenness and transform you into a person who loves others well: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you [Eph 4:32].