Offense is inevitable in life; Jesus said that it must come, but there’s a system He created to help you cope in your relationship when you’re offended.
Why would offense come? Some people would offend you because of their ignorance, willfulness, or irrational behavior based on their mindset.
Whether you like it or not, you cannot prevent people from offending you, but as much as possible, you can tolerate it lest you become trapped emotionally. This, however, is possible through the instrument of forgiveness.
What is forgiveness?
Beyond pardon for sin, it is a system where you extend love to your offender due to their deficiency in it. It is letting go of the pain and hurt which someone caused you so you can be free from those things they did that brought you pain or hurt.
Forgiveness may not erase the scar, but it would surely heal the wound. Truthfully speaking, it cannot take away the consequences of what they made you go through, but it can reduce the hurt.
To forgive, you have to GIVE. However, what you give when you forgive is not to reciprocate evil for evil, but to repay evil with good.
Think about this. Why would God love the man whom He created after the devil made him rebel against Him? Why would His only begotten Son be offered as a sacrifice to restore man to Him?
I don’t know why God loves mankind, but one thing about His love is that it is unconditional and patient. The teaching of forgiveness in the Lord’s prayer is to educate you about unconditional love.
Yes, you were raped. Of a truth, you were heartbroken or jilted. Your parents or friends may have neglected you. What God is saying to you is that you should love them unconditionally and embrace forgiveness.
I know forgiveness is painful to embrace when you consider how severe the pain was, but you can forgive.
To err is human, but to forgive is divine. You may be unable to forgive those who offend you, but you can ask for His grace to do so. No matter how awful the situation may be, you need to embrace forgiveness in your relationship.
Forgiveness is not a sign of weakness or an act of stupidity; it’s a command you must obey, and you can never quantify the joy it brings when you do it sincerely – from your heart.
Growing up in a family where I saw graphic details of how dad battered mom in domestic violence, I shouldn’t forgive him. But before I left the university, I found grace to walk in forgiveness.
Do you know that those who hurt you, no matter how knowledgeable you think they are, are only acting in ignorance? It takes revelation to know this. If they truly know the truth, they wouldn’t have done what they did.
Meanwhile, one of the mysteries of forgiveness is that you can’t receive it from God if you do not offer it to those who offend you. It may cost you tears to forgive, but you’d walk in liberty from the gruesome torments of the devil for lack of it.
You stand the risk of so many things if you do not forgive. Issues like anger, bitterness, resentment, malice, and the likes cannot be compared with the effect it has over you in the courtroom of heaven where the devil has the chance to accuse you before God.
More so, you do not stand the chance to enjoy God’s blessings when you latch onto unforgiveness.
And as the scripture exemplifies, forgiveness must come from your heart for it would be genuine and effective. However, two things would give you the capacity to forgive: love and understanding.
With Agape love, you’d love and forgive unconditionally. This was the kind of love God expressed to you and me when He gave us Jesus Christ. Remember how rebellious and sinful you were; recall those times when you were rising and falling into sin, yet, He was patient till you returned to Him completely.
I implore you to embrace God’s love to forgive whoever offended you.
One thing you need to know is that those who offend you are ignorant of the truth. As educated in law as Paul was, after his conversion, he realized that all he did in his father’s religion by persecuting the church was done in ignorance.
But the moment he encountered the truth (Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit), he knew better. Let this message heal you from any pain or hurt that has been caused by unforgiveness. No matter how many times you’ve been offended, forgive from your heart.
It is only when you walk in God’s love and understanding that you can forgive indeed, and in truth.