SETTING ASIDE OFFENSES

FEBRUARY 16TH, 2021      |    Social media posts have deemed our world as becoming a society of “the perpetually offended.” News reports often tell of those who lose jobs or have their livelihood taken away because someone was put off by unintentional words or actions. And in social settings, it’s not unusual to hear of misunderstandings that get blown out of proportion and destroy relationships. Proverbs says this is the picture of foolish behavior. Sadly, Christians often respond no differently. Of course, you have to be careful with words and “in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 NIV), and as a child of God, it’s imperative to learn how to lower defenses and overlook unintentional insults. As you learn to rely on the Holy Spirit to give spiritual discernment, learn to look beyond caustic words to see hurting souls who spew out ugliness because of their own brokenness and push people away through hostile words. If you want to really reach these people and let them see Jesus, you must submit to God, allow Him to tame your flesh, and respond not with angry responses, but with love— not love as defined by your feelings, but love demonstrated by actions and comes from Christ who lives within you.

SETTING ASIDE OFFENSES

Fools show their annoyance at once, but prudent overlook an insult.

–Proverbs 12:16 NIV

Fools show their annoyance at once, but prudent overlook an insult.

–Proverbs 12:16 NIV

Social media posts have deemed our world as becoming a society of “the perpetually offended.” News reports often tell of those who lose jobs or have their livelihood taken away because someone was put off by unintentional words or actions. And in social settings, it’s not unusual to hear of misunderstandings that get blown out of proportion and destroy relationships.

Proverbs says this is the picture of foolish behavior. Sadly, Christians often respond no differently. Of course, you have to be careful with words and “in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 NIV), and as a child of God, it’s imperative to learn how to lower defenses and overlook unintentional insults.

As you learn to rely on the Holy Spirit to give spiritual discernment, learn to look beyond caustic words to see hurting souls who spew out ugliness because of their own brokenness and push people away through hostile words.

If you want to really reach these people and let them see Jesus, you must submit to God, allow Him to tame your flesh, and respond not with angry responses, but with love— not love as defined by your feelings, but love demonstrated by actions and comes from Christ who lives within you.

God, help me see the people I encounter as You see them, and respond with Your love.

Jesus, sift my actions and attitudes today so that through them I will be a living invitation for others to know You.

Karen Woodall
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