“A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)
In a week’s time, three separate things happened that left me feeling emotionally challenged.
First, someone made a false assumption about our family and shared it with some leaders who confronted us. I felt hurt. Then, I saw something on social media (always the place, right?) that revealed someone had lied to me about something silly. But I still felt hurt. And finally, I had a frustrating conversation with someone I work with professionally, and it was creating tension between us. I felt hurt again.
Any time multiple things happen that leave me feeling the same way, I know it’s wise to ask God if there’s something I need to see in my own life. Because feelings often fog our focus and can make us feel emotionally out of balance.
I thought I was hurt from these three things. But when I prayed about them, the Holy Spirit stirred my soul with a question …
“Nicki, are you hurt, or are you offended?”
Being hurt and being offended are two very different things. And we rarely take the time to sort through them, which leads us to feel all kinds of issues in our relationships.
Emotional hurt is something we experience because something wrong has been done to us. Think: lies, gossip or broken promises. And if we’re going to be honest here, we would also admit there have been times when we have hurt people.
Offense is not the result of something done to us; it’s something we choose. This can be our reaction to snarky emails, something we discovered we didn’t like about a person/situation, or even something stirring jealousy in us.
Hurt happens to us. Being offended is a choice made by us. Hurt requires healing. Offense requires an objective opinion.
But may we remember today, God is the God of the hurt heart and the offended heart. He’s here to help us sort through both.
In the past few months, we have become more isolated than we ever have been. While many are truly hurting because of everything this year has brought, others are dealing with hearts that are offended by what seems like everything. We are all on edge, and rightly so — many of our lives have been upended.
As much as this season of isolation and division has tried to convince us we don’t need people, we do. And I believe so strongly that the enemy of our souls would love for us to stay offended and divided.
Our verse today, Proverbs 19:11, is one we should probably read and study at least once a week if we want to pull through this season of life with important relationships intact. It says: “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
The book of Proverbs is considered the book of wisdom. Chapter 19 is all about building a life of discernment and wisdom. The word “glory” used here is referring to a sign of growth and maturity. A person who has experienced growth knows how to recognize hurt versus offense. Hurt requires healing. Being offended requires a dose of let it go.
The result of the three things that happened in one week was my soul holding both hurt and offense. Taking the time to sort through this has helped me know how to move forward, one step at a time.
The first step requires laying down the hurt or offense before God and not picking it back up. There are some places of hurt only God can heal.
The second step requires letting it go. There are some things I need to get over and stop being offended by.
I know, because you are reading this today, you are a person who longs to experience both spiritual and emotional growth in your life. I also know we are all very human, sorting through emotions and situations that leave us feeling challenged. Life and relationships have been hard the last several months.
Someone may need our forgiveness. And someone needs our willingness to overlook being offended. Regardless of what God shows you today through this, I know He will give you the strength to do whatever your soul needs to experience glory.
God, thank You for constantly forgiving me and giving me the strength to do the same. Help me see what I need to see today and do what I need to do so my life reflects Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY
Colossians 3:13, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (NIV)
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In Nicki Koziarz’s book, Why Her? she helps readers conquer the offenses that comparison can bring to a woman’s soul. Click here to purchase your copy and check out the six truths she teaches you in this message based on the biblical account of Rachel and Leah.
Check out Nicki’s podcast, Lessons from the Farm, where she teaches on the Bible and the life lessons God is showing her.
REFLECT AND RESPOND
Take the time to pray through the situations in which you are feeling hurt. Write them down and ask God to show you if it’s hurt or offense.
What are some ways you have been able to sort through feeling hurt or being offended? Share your examples in the comment section today.
© 2020 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.
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