Once again, someone in your life has offended you. Your frustration boils over. How many more times will you have to put up with being offended? So, you take matters into your own hands and let the offender know how you feel. You tell him just how annoyed and offended you are. You don’t care if he is your brother or your coworker, enough is enough. Afterwards, you think you feel vindicated, you think you feel better, you think you have stood up for your rights. But something is not right. You still feel edgy and angry.
Doing things your way will always leave you unsettled. God has a different way to handle personal offenses! Here are four insights from the Proverbs that show God’s wisdom:
1. Respond positively in love.
Return good for evil, show love instead of defending yourself. Look at Proverbs 17:9:
He who covers over an offense promotes love,
but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
If you keep arguing and bringing the offense back up it will leave you isolated and upset. Relational damage will be done. Practice love instead of resentment. In short, stop talking about what upset you and find ways to appreciate the other person.
2. Don’t give in to anger.
Anger is a divider, not a uniter. See Proverbs 10:12:
Hatred stirs up conflict,
but love covers over all wrongs.
Your anger, your hatred will keep conflicts going. Repeating the matter brings separation in relationships.
3. Keep your mouth closed!
When words come tumbling out of your mouth in frustration in an attempt to strike back at an offense, sin happens. Proverbs 10:19:
When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise.
Trying to even the score after being offended by using a war of words is not productive. It makes you appear foolish and defensive!
4. Patience is wisdom.
Trusting God’s word leads to wisdom which leads to patience. Proverbs 19:11:
A man’s wisdom gives him patience;
it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Patience is living in the expectation of God’s care. Striking back means you are trusting yourself instead of God. Patience in overlooking an offense heals relationships.
Four gems of wisdom from the Proverbs when you are offended:
Respond positively in love.
Don’t give in to anger.
Keep your mouth closed.
Patience is wisdom.