"A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense." -Proverbs 19:11
Has anybody ever made you mad? Like seething, fuming angry? Or has anyone done something to you or someone else that has hurt you? We all have to deal with offenses - we are human! It's been said before about churches, "You need to be a Christian to survive in church." We all have faults and scars. We are all imperfect. The fact of the matter is, none of us are are immune to hurting someone else. But, how do we overlook offense that caused us hurt or harm?
I received some good advice from a relationship course I was taking: "The relationship is ALWAYS more important than the issue at hand." With established relationships, we need to keep in mind that when we're in the heat of the moment, we can tend to forget that the person causing us frustration or hurt is someone we really do care about. The relationship is more important than the disagreement.
God knows this, too. He overlooks so many of our offenses - He loves us much more than the offense we cause. Although He is completely righteous, He loves us in spite of our sins. Otherwise, we would not be alive! His grace and atonement are what keep the salvation of mankind alive.
Although we need to set boundaries and confront situations that may cause us further harm, sometimes the best prescription is grace. The person may not be in a mental state to see what they are doing. Sometimes the person doesn't have the emotional or spiritual maturity yet to see what they are doing that's wrong or hurtful. This doesn't mean boundaries are not in order. Perhaps, by the Holy Spirit's leading, we can talk to them about what was done and how it could have been handled differently.But, "it is our glory to overlook the offense." (Proverbs 19:11)
God gives us grace for our mistakes. Are you able to overlook an offense?
Related resource: Total Forgiveness by R. T. Kendall