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“Lord, what is going on? I must get this done. It is due today!” I silently prayed this while frantically trying to complete the devotion that I was typing.
The words had been flowing so smoothly. I was typing as fast as I could, trying to keep up with the words running through my spirit. Then, my husband walked in. He said something. I don’t even remember what it was. It was that trivial. I remember rolling my eyes. That’s when it happened, or should I say, “stopped happening”?
Nothing. That was it, nothing. I had no clue what to type. I reread what I had already typed and still nothing. I had nothing, not one word. So, I silently prayed.
Immediately, I heard in my heart, “Forgive your husband.”
What? I have nothing to forgive. That thing he said was nothing. Why do I need to forgive him?
But even clearer than before, there it was: “Forgive your husband.” So, I did.
Instantly, the words came, and I was back to typing.
I learned that day how easily we can be offended and how detrimental that offense can be.
Look at the disciples in John 6. Jesus shares with them a message that offends so many that they miss the very insight and blessing of salvation God is trying to give them.
Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”
Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”
At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”
Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:60-69 NLT)
I was so easily offended by my husband’s comment. I wonder how I would have received Jesus’ words that day… It is so easy to look back now knowing what He meant. But, if I could let some small sentence my husband said cause me to be offended and, for that moment, make me unusable by God, then how much more unusable would I be if I allowed God’s words to offend me?
Offense is powerful—and that is why God wants us to forgive.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15)
Let us, as followers of Jesus, do our best to walk in humility and love, choosing not to be offended even when we don’t understand.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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