Updated: Jun 19, 2020
We all know what it feels like when someone says or does something to us that is on the offensive side. I’m not talking about something necessarily deeply offensive but you know something more on the insensitive side or slightly hurtful side. We have all been slighted by someone and it seems as if the feelings that accompany the offense are beyond our control. So, what do you do when you have been slighted? If you’re like most people, probably you think about what was done to you and have a little conversation with yourself. Or possibly, you get angry and plan your revenge. Or maybe, you’re the confrontational type, so you walk up to the person and PUT THEM IN THEIR PLACE!!!
But, what if there was one thing you could do to totally get over the negative emotions associated with the offense. What if, there was actually a way that you could keep your internal peace irrespective of the insensitivity of someone’s actions? Well, there is ONE thing we can do to nullify the impact of the offense. We can train ourselves to OVERLOOK the offense. Now, don’t get me wrong. There are somethings in life we must address, but if we allow every little thing to be of paramount importance and we make it our duty to address every one of the insensitivities done to us we are going to be the most miserable people in existence. The Bible gives us great wisdom as it relates to how we should respond to certain offenses. Listen to what it says:
“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult” (Proverbs 12:16).
“Do not pay attention to every word people say.....” (Ecclesiastes 7:21a)
“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11)
We have absolutely no control over the day, the hour or the season in which an offense comes, but we have total control in how we respond to those offenses. If we watch how we respond to the offense, the offense will lose its power to move our hearts towards anger and bitterness.The Word of God instructs us to OVERLOOK the offense. We have to learn to ignore certain things. I love what Ecclesiastes 7:21a says. It wisely declares: “Do not pay attention to every word people say.......”
We have to know what to give our attention to. When we pay attention, we concentrate; We focus our mental energies. The Word of God is telling us not to put our mental energies on every offense. There are some offensive things we have to practice IGNORING. Do not think about it! Do not meditate on it! Do not respond to it! Do not speak about it! Just IGNORE IT!!!
As we practice ignoring the offense, we will eventually find that many things do not bother us at all. Please keep in mind that every offense has an aim. Offenses fight to get their way into our hearts to encourage us towards bitterness and other negative emotions. But we can break their power quite easily as we make a habit of ignoring them. We can’t ignore everything, but a lot of negative things that occur in life do not deserve our attention.
If you are desirous of learning more about the topic of forgiveness and how to deal with offenses, get your hands on the book ‘21 Days To Forgiveness’. It has helped many individuals to get over unforgiving feelings and experience healing from the hurts of yesterday.