By: Sarah MacKinney
A person's wisdom makes him slow to anger;
it is his honor to overlook an offense.
I believe that our main goal as Christians should be to live and love like Jesus. To show others who Jesus is by how we treat each other, what we say and the example that we set. But how can I be a good witness of Christ if I am always offended? Sometimes we feel like we have the "right" to be offended. Can anyone relate? But then I think about Jesus and all the things that he had the "right to be offended by. He was mocked, ridiculed and scorned but He never let bitterness consume Him.
I realize that there are big things in life that legitimately hurt us, I am in no way minimizing those. We have all experienced serious wounds that take time to work through and process. But speaking from my own heart, some of the things that I allow to get under my skin, some things I allow to play over and over in my mind about how I was wronged; are of no importance in light of eternity. They cut you off in traffic, be offended. They didn't compliment you on your outfit, by all means...be offended. Your spouse left his dirty clothes on the floor again, be offended. So many times we let bitterness and offense take root in our heart when it would have been wiser to just pray about it and ask God to help us let it go. I know this is a practice that is easier said than done; but if the Bible says it is to my honor to overlook an offense, wouldn't I be wise to try a little harder?
If I want my life to represent Jesus, I can't pick and choose which qualities of His I want to imitate. I can't model His kindness and patience and choose to exclude forgiveness. I can't decide to be loyal and caring but deliberately choose not to forgive. None of us will ever be perfect like He was, but we can do our best to live a life that represents Him well; which includes overlooking offense and not letting bitterness and anger consume our hearts. My prayer is that we as Christians will do our best to live in harmony with each other and that we will live out Ephesians 4:2-3, "With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, be eager to maintain the Spirit of unity in the bond of peace."