Proverbs 19:11,”A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
It really does not take a lot of effort to offend anybody these days, does it? Oh I’m sorry did I offend you by asking this question and causing you to reflect? It seems that defenses are at an all time high. Emotions are raging. Entitlement rises up claiming rights we don’t really have. Our wounds are seeping with infectious hurt and hurt people are hurting people. Our shame has formed a barbed wire defence.
We are missing each others’ hearts.Are we taking the time to really listen? Do we value relationship enough that we take time to ask questions if offense rises up in us? Do we desire what Jesus does? To have unity and peace and reconciled hearts?
For those who don’t know Jesus, we need to give grace because their hope is different. But for those of us that do, can we stop and listen and give the benefit of the doubt and see the reasons behind the hurt? Pause and filter the words through His love. This verse spoke volumes to me in the last few months. “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18.
This is smack dab in the middle of,“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone – Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” vs 17&19.
Evil for evil does not only mean the most heinous of crimes but also guarding our mouths to not react in anger, frustration or hurt. To think about what exits from our mouths and consider if it is bringing life or death. I can testify over the years Jesus has calmed my tongue and enabled me to breathe first before spewing evil but it hasn’t come easy and by no means do I claim to be perfect in that regard.
It truly needs to be intentional, first to have the desire for God to bring healing in that area of your life. And then to co-operate with the process and to fill our minds with His word and truth to counter anything that may come against us. Romans 12 list Paul’s guidelines for us to take personal responsibility when living as redeemed people. I encourage you to read and reflect on his words. Let God speak.
Father, We come to you with our brokenness, the places that need a touch from you. Help us Lord, to not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Help us to be sincere in our love, to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. Oh Lord let us honour you and one another above ourselves. Heal us from our selfishness Father. Give us strength to bless those who persecute us and not curse them. Help us to see past their brokenness Father, acknowledging that we are not better but that we can encourage them and rise above our fleshly desires to retaliate. If it is possible, as far as it depends on us, let us live in peace with everyone. In Jesus’s name. Amen