Whether there are walls in your life that need to come down or there are walls that need to be rebuilt, we need the power and presence of God to supernaturally do what we cannot do on our own. Throughout this series, we will be walking through the practical logistics of fasting and how to apply this time-tested spiritual discipline to our lives to help make this the best year ever. In addition to our Sunday sermons which are available on our podcast, our pastoral team will be publishing a weekly devotional to help encourage and inspire faith throughout the beginning of this new year.
Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
I had just walked in through the door after a busy day at the office and was really looking forward to the enveloping and comforting embrace of… my couch. After putting my bag away and changing into something more comfortable for the evening, that sweet moment came and I slunk down into those beautiful cushions. There was nothing that was going to disturb—“Did you take the garbage out yet?” I heard my wife ask as she was getting the girls’ dinner ready.
Now, you could say that it was a fair and simple question because it was, but that doesn’t change the indignation I experienced in that moment. “Doesn’t she know how hard I worked today?” “Why is it always me who has to take the garbage out?” “She better not take my spot on the couch!”
An honestly innocent question too easily produced offense. But, if I had to guess, you’re probably somewhat familiar with my story, too. After all, is there any one who hasn’t been offended at one time or another by some person’s words or actions? While there are individuals who intentionally to seek to harm others, there are offenses born out of genuinely insignificant and pure moments. Regardless of the motive, the result tends to be the same: an offense has occurred.
We must realize that offense is just an event—to live offended, though, is a decision.
However, we must realize that offense is just an event—to live offended, though, is a decision. We cannot always control the things that have been done against us, but we always have the choice of our response. We make the choice of how we are going to allow some word or action affect our hearts. What are we willing to allow access to our hearts?
It doesn’t take too long to observe that living offended is often a direct result of our focus on ourselves. “Nobody thanked me.” “Why wasn’t I invited?” “They didn’t pay any attention to me.” Sound familiar? So, what are we to do? Well, we read in Galatians 2:20 ,”I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…” You know who cannot be offended? Dead people. The solution is that we must learn to daily and continually and progressively die to self. See, while we cannot always control the offenses thrown our way, we must eliminate that which offenses feed on: self. Our identity must become totally immersed in Christ.
We must eliminate that which offenses feed on: self.
Today, may we grow to have thick skin and soft hearts. May we pray to become lesser so that Christ in us may become greater. May we choose to not live offended lives even in the midst of offensive actions. And may we seek to bring honor and glory to His Name in what we say, in what we do, and in how we respond to others.
- What is an offense that I have been holding onto that I need to let go? Is there an area of my life where I am too easily offended?
- What are the things that I am offended by revealing about my heart? Where in my life do I need to pray that God becomes greater and I become lesser?
- We read in 1 Peter 4:8 that “love covers a multitude of sins.” Who have I been responding to in hurt and anger instead of love? How might God be calling me to tear down the wall built between us so that I might love him or her as He does?
This devotional was written by Pastor Cameron for use during our Walls series. Be sure to check out the messages in this series by clicking here or subscribing to our podcast available in the iTunes Store. Cameron Rebarchek is the family life pastor of New Life Assembly of God. Learn more about him and his family by clicking on his picture.