1990) Choose NOT to Be Offended

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Posted September 21, 2018, at:  http://www.dwellingintheword.wordpress.com

     Once when visiting with a friend, I was relating an incident which had caused friction and ill will between a mutual friend, “Jack,” and another person.  Jack was quite hurt and discouraged by what had happened, and frankly, the other person was clearly at fault. 

     My friend said, “I know a way to prevent such things from ever happening.”  I was astonished at his remark — what inside information did he have?

      “It is really quite simple,” my friend said.  “Choose NOT to be offended.”

     Choose NOT to be offended.  It has become a motto for me!  When people say the wrong thing, whether unthinkingly or deliberately, I say to myself, “If they are unaware, oh well, it is not my problem.  If they are trying to hurt me, I will sweetly deny them that satisfaction.  I choose NOT to be offended.”  And I let it go.  If someone does something which makes my life more difficult and I find myself getting knotted up about it, I remind myself, “Life is full of ups and downs.  Choose NOT to be offended and just get on with it.”  And I stop the pity party.

     1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  In my youth I thought it meant that my love covered other people’s sins, particularly the people I liked and could be generous and forgiving towards.  Now I know it is God’s love that covers all our sins.  Only with Christ’s forgiveness can I live at all.  With that clearly in mind, then, I have found it easier and easier to take my friend’s advice and choose NOT to be offended.

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Proverbs 19:11  —  A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

I Peter 4:8  —  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Ephesians 4:2  —  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Colossians 3:12-13  —  Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

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FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US.  As we are forgiven by you, may we forgive all who wrong and offend us.  Help us remember that no one can harm us without doing himself a far greater injury in your sight, so that we may be moved to compassion for them instead of anger, moved to pity rather than a desire for revenge.  May we not be tempted to rejoice when they are troubled, nor be grieved when they prosper.  We will not benefit from the downfall of our enemies, so we pray that you have mercy on them, and then also give us the grace to forgive them from our heart.  Amen.

–Martin Luther