Worse, do you rub someone else the wrong way? Offenses pop into our minds as quick as lightning, but they don’t have to. God’s Word has the answers for our wrong attitudes, our offended sensibilities, and our complaints. All we have to do is listen.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
The wind blows so hard some days that tree branches rub against each other. I remember taking walks through the woods when the trees actually groaned as they touched. Some screeched like banshees while weaving back and forth in the high wind. Not only was it scary to hear, but dangerous as well, since weakened, rotting trees—called widow makers—fall without warning during windstorms.
No doubt some trees become bruised and raw from the rubbing. Perhaps their bark even shreds, leaving open sores beneath.
The winds of adversity and offense can cause us, like the trees, to rub against one another. A little strife, an offense taken, and we're off in a huff. When we take offense to someone's words or actions, we allow our emotions to become open sores. As a result, we can easily stumble in our Christian walk. I believe three things result when we allow ourselves to be offended. (1) The Word of God takes second place in our lives. And the longer we focus on the offense, the deeper its scar, the farther we stray from God. (2) Our offenses ruin our testimony of God's love. No one enjoys listening to complaints and criticisms. (3) We don't allow God to calm the angry winds of our offense, but insist on stewing over problems that God is much more equipped and willing to solve.
Any or all of these can result in stealing our peace with ourselves and with God.
Proverbs 19:11 says, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." First John 2:10 says it best: "Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble." When we allow ourselves to be wrapped in God's love, there will be no danger of becoming offended over anything or anyone. Our souls—our minds and spirits—will not be in danger of becoming painful, open sores. There will be no groaning or screeching coming from us. We will be able to move through the gales of life with peace and love. The closer we remain in God's presence and Word, the more love we will be able to give.
Lord, if we have offended or taken offense, forgive us. We want to be rooted and grounded in Your love. Help us to walk through difficult times without rubbing against others, to love those who have offended us. In Jesus' name, amen.