Offense. It was not until recently that I noticed how often I can take offense to small things people do or say throughout each day. Satan thrives on these small, fleeting opportunities to get underneath our skin. Sometimes a simple word or wrong glance from someone can cause a total spiral of emotions. It is important to remember “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy.” (John 10:10) as well as “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high place.” (Ephesians 6:12)
We allow the enemy to be very good at his job when only one small action from another person is able to completely take over our thoughts. These small feelings of offense may feel harmless in the moment, but slowly these offenses can seep in and cause bitterness, doubt, and unforgiveness that drive a wedge between us and the Lord.
We live in a very angry world. It is so easy to become upset and there is such little room for mercy. Look around…there is a lot of heartache and resentment around us every day. Bitterness and offenses have built up in people’s hearts and caused such ugliness to show. Forgiveness is not always easy or fair, but the bible DOES say that forgiveness is necessary and even ESSENTIAL in building a true relationship with the Lord. In fact, the bible even says if we are not able to forgive others, our OWN sins cannot be forgiven. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11:25)
Unforgiveness can stand in the way of the precious plans God has made for us and offense can be a stumbling block in our walk along the way. Allowing ourselves to be offended steals our joy, ruins friendships, and stunts our growth with the Lord. The only way to truly guard our hearts from offense and unforgiveness is to walk in love. The bible says not only to forgive one another, but to forgive quickly and often! One way to forgive more easily is to believe the best in others. We cannot see inside someone’s heart the way that the Lord does. Be quick to assume the best in others. We all fall short, we all need mercy.
“Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” (Proverbs 17:9)
How much happier would life be if we were able to live each day without dwelling on what someone else thinks of us? How much time could we save worrying? Trying to control the thoughts and actions of others is useless. I think about this often because I happen to be a gigantic….people pleaser. I want to be liked, to be admired, to be praised. It is so easy to forget that I already know the ONLY opinion of myself that matters. I am chosen, loved, adored, liked, and encouraged by the son of God. Reminding myself of this seems to let all other opinions simply fall away.
My prayer for you today is to let the small things go. Refuse to take the bait of the small offenses that the enemy places in front of you today. Remember that you do not need the opinion of others in order to be secure. You are already invaluable to the only one that matters.