When we let offense in we miss out on sharing the love God intends for our relationships.
“A brother offended is more difficult than a fortified city. Disputes are like the bars of a fortress.”
Proverbs 18:19 WEBBE
It’s so easy to take something said the wrong way. It may be that our own judgment gives us a perspective on what was said or done that is not what was intended at all. In fact it can even be the opposite. This has happened to me a number of times, both as the offended and the recipient. Our own unresolved hurts can colour our perception. We may assume that an attitude is held by the person we are offended by. And so in fact we become the judgmental ones.
We can miss out on the blessing that is there for us in the relationship if we are only willing to leave our past hurts at the cross. When we know we are healed in Jesus it changes our perspective completely. We see with eyes of freedom rather than bondage, with a heart of love and no longer wounded and self protecting. And then we may move forward in grace. There is beautiful fellowship to be shared in that loving place where all are accepted in Christ Jesus, all offenses covered.
“…walk worthily of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and humility, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling,”
Ephesians 4:1b-4 WEBBE
And then when we are so accustomed to not taking offense from other brethren when none is intended we will be in a more mature place to handle situations where offense is actually intended!
“For it is commendable if someone endures pain, suffering unjustly, because of conscience towards God. For what glory is it if, when you sin, you patiently endure beating? But if when you do well, you patiently endure suffering, this is commendable with God. For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps, who didn’t sin, “neither was deceit found in his mouth.” When he was cursed, he didn’t curse back. When he suffered, he didn’t threaten, but committed himself to him who judges righteously. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness. You were healed by his wounds.”
1 Peter 2:19-24 WEBBE
“Love is patient and is kind. Love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 WEBBE