Offenses are heading your way! They will come… as they often do when we get together with large groups of people over the holidays!
Remember, James 3.2 tells us we all stumble in many ways, and if any one does NOT offend in word they are perfect! So be ready for not only others to stumble but even we can unintentionally stumble too!
Some things to remember:
1. Be kind and gracious. Give the benefit of a doubt. Overlook offenses.
2. Don’t return evil for evil, or insult with insult. Bless the ones that offend you! Why should you? 1 Peter 3.2 tells you why: so that you can obtain a blessing from God Himself!
3. Forgive forgive forgive! As many times as you need to! (Matthew 18) Set the other person free from fulfilling any of your needs. No matter what the situation, don’t allow someone else to break into your anointing!
4. Move other and let the Lord handle your offenses! He said He will deal with those that hurt the apple of His eye! (Zech 2.8) Allow Him to deal with those who come against you as King David did with Saul!
5. You are BLESSED when reproached! REJOICE and LEAP for JOY because your reward will be GREAT in heaven! (Luke 6.22-23)
6. Bless them that curse you and if they smack you across the face with the way they treat you, offer them the other cheek! Your reward will be GREAT and you will look like your Father! Give GRACE and MERCY and know it will be coming back at you! (Luke 6.27-30, 35-38)
7. Be happy that the Spirit of the glory can rest upon you when you are partakers in Christ’s suffering. (1 Peter 4.12-14) He knows how it is to be rejected and spoken against by the very ones He came to give His life to. He knows how it is to have His own children spit upon Him and reject all He wanted to give them. Have faith that the Lord will take good care of you!
8. Keep your heart free from bitterness! (Hebrews 12.14-15) When you don’t forgive one person, many can be hurt by your bitterness! Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It feeds on itself and grows, making you a martyr, feeding self pity and feeling sorry for yourself. You end up passing on bad reports about others to try to gain a following as Absalom did, resulting in his own self destruction AND the destruction of all those he was able to have join him in his unforgiveness.
Unforgiveness results in ugliness, and is like poison ivy sucking the life and love out of you and growing like poison ivy all over your heart and life, hurting any one else that comes near. It results in you replaying your hurts over and over in your mind, making a “rut” for your thoughts to keep going back to.
God has called us to live on a higher level. He gives us His power to respond in SUPERnatural love to those that hurt us!
Let’s pray this prayer regularly:
Lord God, right now I give you every time I am to be offended, by thoughtless words, thoughtless deeds, by others speaking evil of my good as they did with You. I give You every bad feeling about any wrong committed against me, my family and my motives and ministry. I pray for each of those who have wronged me, intentionally or unintentionally. I pray for each of those who have passed around wrong information about me that has funneled back to me. I refuse to rehearse those things, feed on them, or feel sorry for myself because of them. I ask you to bless each of those that have done me wrong in any way: give them a greater knowledge of who You are, help them to walk in the fullness of the life You have for them, help them to know their calling, and give them the saving knowledge of Your great mercy and forgiveness, resulting in a passionate relationship with You!
Lord, please forgive me for any unkindness, wrong words spoken to or about others, and wrong deeds against others. Help me to walk in Your perfect love towards others. Help me to be kind and gracious. Examine my heart towards others, and point out and show me if there are any offensive, hurtful ways in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139.24). Thank you for empowering me with Your power to love in return and to walk in the freedom of Your love and forgiveness!