Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grace Over Grudge

I know it hurts. I know you are finding it hard to forgive that person who hurt you, who offended you. Can I encourage you to make today the day you let that offense go? It's just not worth it. Do you really want to carry the weight of that grudge? I promise, it's not hurting them as much as it's hurting you.

What you may not realize is that the offense you are walking in is destroying you. It's destroying your relationship with God. It started as a seed of bitterness and it's grown into a full-blown kudzu-vine, choking the life out of your peace. And it has to go.

How? Not by your own works, that's for sure. Only by God's grace. God is the only one who has a right to be offended because He is the only one who is perfect and holy. And yet, in spite of how we offend Him each and every day, He has chosen to forgive us. He has chosen to see the best in us. And He is only asking the same of us with each other. Nothing ruins unity like an offended spirit.

Here are some Proverbs to help us along the road to forgiveness and letting go:

Good sense makes one slow to anger and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

Hatred stirs of up strife, but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12

Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9

There are more, but you get the picture. God is asking us to let it go. Division and distention are the only thing that can come from an offended spirit. The root of walking in offense? Pride. Someone hurt our pride and we don't like it. Does it really matter who's right and who's wrong? If we really boil it down, doesn't it make sense to swallow that pride and let it go? What does it matter what men think, anyway? Isn't God the one we should be trying to please? (Galatians 1:10) Our pride does not come from God. If the root is pride, shouldn't we pull that root up and toss it in the garbage?

If you are still with me, I'm going to assume you are ready to let this offense go. It doesn't let your offender off the hook - it actually takes your hands off the situation and allows God to do deal with the situation. He's got a much better perspective. We cannot see their heart. We don't know the real reason they offended us. Perhaps it wasn't even intentional? But as long as we try to hold something over someone and walk in offense, God cannot and will not work in that situation. He's waiting for us to trust Him and walk in peace and unity. He will handle the situation. Our focus must be on Him, not the offense. Oh, and chances are, you've offended someone at some point, too. Wouldn't you prefer grace over grudge?

Out of my distress, I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. 
Psalm 119:5-8

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