Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Forgiving Offenses

"There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome."
"And your defect is a propensity to hate everybody."
"And yours," he replied with a smile, "is wilfully to misunderstand them."
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

We can become easily offended when we feel wounded by insensitive words spoken from a family member or someone we consider to be a friend.  
It could be just a misunderstanding, but regardless, the rejection we feel leaves us wondering what we did to deserve such hurtful treatment.

We retrace our steps and our words, looking for clues.

Sometimes though, it may just be a perceived offense, possibly by both parties.  

When we allow our minds to wander and attempt to come to a conclusion without seeking the truth, we frequently find ourselves in a battle (in our minds, of course) that hasn’t or will never happen and the hurtful words can very quickly escalate into unforgiveness and over time become a root of bitterness.

Scripture tells us, "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends." Proverbs 17:9

Communication is the key that opens the door to forgiveness and releases us from a self imposed prison.

However, as important as communication is, even more important is the way
we communicate.

We should always proceed prayerfully when attempting confrontation of a perceived offense.

We should also remember that while we have no control over anything anyone else chooses to say, think or do, we have complete control over how we choose to respond to the way that we’ve been treated.
Proverbs 19:11 (GW)
A person with good sense is patient, and it is to his credit that he overlooks an offense.

It’s also important to remember that while it’s difficult to be on the receiving end of hurtful words, it’s very likely that we’ve also been on the other end.

We’ve probably thrown out a comment or two that were meant to be hurtful or maybe that wasn’t our intention, but that’s how it was received. Grace for one another is not only sufficient but vital.
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 (GW)
Don’t take everything that people say to heart, or you may hear your own servant cursing you. Your conscience knows that you have cursed others many times.

And finally, a little humility goes a long way in keeping us on the right path towards peace. Our ultimate goal should be to follow in our Savior’s footsteps….

Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.



Forgiving someone is like removing a splinter, initially painful but with time will heal.
In the same sense unforgiveness is like a splinter that if left in place can become infected and more painful and eventually dangerous to our health and well being.
Unforgiveness infects our lives, bringing greater pain and stealing our joy but if we allow God to remove the splintered pieces of our lives, He will bring healing and restoration and a peace that only He can give.
So give it all to Him, every shattered, splintered piece and let the healing begin!


  1. Wow the Holy Spirit is sure working on us "Write Where it Hurts Women" hey!? Yesterday I blogged about words and taking off the boxing gloves, and your blog today is making me want to dig deeper into what needs to happen after the fighting. I LOVE what you said about forgiveness at the end. It's so true and something I'm praying earnestly to do.
    God Bless you Lanette!

  2. Yes, He sure is Brandi!!! I don't believe for a second that it was a coincidence that we all ended up in the WWIH group! The encouragement and affirmation was just the push I needed to move forward in faith as far as using my God given gifts. I'm forever thankful! Can't wait to see where He leads us....

  3. Excellent insight!!! I've shared it on fb. ♥, P.j.