Remember peer editing from grade school? You would switch papers with your peer and they would edit your work? Some teachers would let you pick your peer, others would pick the peer for you. Sometimes the comments were nice and sometimes they were not.
In other words, you chose to be offended. That’s right, being offended is a choice! That’s a hard pill to digest because people can be downright mean and our feelings may even be justified but our response to the situation can make all the difference.
Offenses are thrown at our feet everyday. Someone cuts us off in traffic, another criticize our method of doing something, and some folks are in a bad mood so they are simply determined to make us feel bad as well. What remains is that the choice to be offended is yours. Will you transition the criticism to constructive feedback? Will you show grace and let that person who wants to cut you off in traffic into your lane? Will you pray for that person who have a bad day?
The answer is naturally found in scripture…
As the offense lay at your feet, choose to leave it there. And if you picked it up, lay it back down! We must consider the root of an issue before we respond. Is the person having the bad day in need of prayer? Could the constructive feedback give us a new way of doing the task? The person rushing and cutting folks off in traffic could be rushing to get to a loved one. While it’s not right for people to be mean and cruel, we must know that our response can be the catalyst for change!
Picking up the offense is easy and it gives us permission to moan and complain about someone doing us wrong. However, once it’s done, what’s next? However, choosing to lay down the offense can bring someone to Christ!
Your choice to forgive and to overlook an offense demonstrates the power of God at work in you and can draw someone to Christ! Forgiveness can accomplish more than being offended. We must lay it down-lay down the hurt, lay down the pain, lay down the offense!
Whatever you do, do not take the offense!
Show those who seek to offend you how strong you are by laying down the offense! Demonstrate to those who are out to offend that God has transformed and change your life and the old self is gone away! Your extension of forgiveness is a powerful witnessing tool. The extension of grace just shows how much grace has been extended to you by the Lord Almighty!
Lay down that weight of offense, my friend, it is not yours to carry.
Peace and Blessings