Healing Offence

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Jeremiah 9:1,”Oh, that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears. I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.”

My heart is burdened. I asked God to break my heart for what breaks His and the first thing that keeps playing over in my mind is how people blame or have bitterness toward God, the church or others for pain in their lives. I have witnessed over and over the basis for this blame is often rooted in unresolved offences, judgment and unforgiveness. When we blame we can temporarily take our pain and lay it on something else instead of seeking after healing for it. Healing takes responsibility and action. It may be the hard thing but God longs for hearts to be reconciled to His. I am not saying there aren’t people who hurt us but what often hurts us the most is our responses to the hurt. Therein is where we sin.

Why is it so much easier to deflect than to deal with issues? Anytime you assume to know why someone did something, you are judging them. It is almost like second nature for us to try to determine Why something happened. Beth Moore said that she feels there are a lot Whiners because people have unresolved Whys! She said asking Why is not about getting the answer necessarily, its knowing you have the right to ask that of God. It hinders intimacy when you don’t express it, once you do, you can get on with it.

Why’s can come in all forms. It may be from a significant loss, from an event, in relationships, with God. The most dangerous form of why can be the assuming why. Someone walked right by you and you ‘assume’ it is because they don’t like you. You didn’t get a text or phone call back immediately and you ‘assume’ it is because they are mad at you. You didn’t get picked for a team or project, you ‘assume’ you aren’t good enough. In these places you pick up offence.

Dr. Jim Richards says, “Unresolved offences are emotional suicide.” You know I don’t throw that world around lightly but I agree with him that is the best descriptive for what happens in our hearts when we take up offence. He also taught, you can’t have mercy for someone you have a judgment against because judgment calls for a penalty. Judgment shuts our hearts down to mercy. When we numb our hearts to pain, joy and peace suffer.

I have been reading in Jeremiah this morning. The ‘Weeping Prophet’. When I see the call God has on these prophets lives in the bible, there is no doubt they would be weeping. God calls them to draw the people back to Him and often the response is the opposite. It was a difficult task. This is the burden I am sensing in these days, people’s hearts are far from Him and often this could be resolved as hearts heal. Jeremiah actually asked for tears for his people as we see in the verse above.

This was a good ask because if he kept all of this frustration and sorrow over the people bottled up, it may have exploded to judgment and offense and kept him from completing God’s task for him. 40 agonizing years he had to keep speaking to these hard-headed people. He even went on to write Lamentations, true to its namesake it’s a passionate expression of his grief and sorrow over his people. “My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city.” Lamentations 2:11

I know that Jeremiah’s musings were regarding the destruction of Jerusalem but his message applies to us today. Disobeying God invites disaster and His heart suffers when His people suffer. We are still hard-headed, hard-hearted and suffering. He is the answer. I won’t apologize for saying that. We are to seek after true reconciliation, not just say I’m sorry, bury it and move on.

Stop assuming you know the answers. If God shows you something why don’t you stand in the gap for that person in prayer instead of filling in the gaps about them. If you have taken offence, seek God for healing and forgiveness and go back to that and say, I don’t know why they did what they did but God help me to be merciful. If you are assuming why in the midst of a conversation or exchange, ask immediately for clarity so judgment can be prevented.

You know the saying, don’t assume, or it makes an a.. out of you and me. This is pretty accurate because then it is just interpretation not the truth and it will create some kind of hurt or conflict. Jesus is the truth along with the way and the life and living from a place of judgment does not allow for the truth to penetrate. But, when we surrender judgment, it gives us the capacity to have mercy. Jeremiah knew that our God was one of mercy. He cried out and gave the people plenty of opportunity the chance to repent and turn back to God. It is really quite amazing how very merciful God is when I think of my sins alone and how He has forgiven me, now multiply that by the sins of 7 billion! That is His heart, that none should perish. NONE! For those that know Him already, He wants All of your heart.

What causes you to weep?  What offences have you taken up that God wants you to lay down? In what areas of your heart do you need Him to minister ? Are you far from Him? Turn around, He is standing right there.

Lord, I plead with you to heal the brokenhearted. Father to meet with people in their hurt and help them not to blame and be offended. We know the enemy would love nothing more than to block our intimacy with you. We trust your heart to heal and forgive in those painful places. We surrender our judgment so that we can be merciful. Father, help us in the things we weep for so that we can go and lift up others who experience the same things. We know our world is full of injustice, poverty, war, suffering, offences and rebellion against you Lord, help us to respond appropriately and do what we can and pray for the rest and trust you. Thank you Jesus! Amen.

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