Overlooking Offenses

OVERLOOKING OFFENSES

Os Hillman

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” – Proverbs 19:11

I have a friend who tells a story of a lesson the Lord taught him through his wife. It seems that every time he and his wife would get in the car to travel somewhere, his wife had a strong need to direct his driving. She would tell him where to turn and when to turn, even in their own subdivision. It was such a horrible habit that it drove my friend crazy and became the source of many an argument. Finally, one day my friend concluded that the Lord was trying to teach him something through this experience. He decided he would let go of his need to be free from this correction. He began to affirm his wife and even thank her for her input. It was excruciatingly painful to do this from where he sat.

A few months passed. He let go of the entire situation and actually got to a place where it just didn’t matter to him anymore. An interesting thing happened a few months later. One day his wife looked at him and said, “John, I just realized that I have been directing your driving all these years and now realize why I do that. It goes back to my childhood when I had to direct my younger brothers and sisters. I am so sorry I have been doing that.” My friend nearly fell out of his seat!

Whenever we work close to another person, whether in an office or home, small offenses can become the source of great conflict. Resentment and irritability soon follow. God brings these “offenses” into our lives to develop character qualities in us. He uses individuals in our lives to accomplish his goal of making us more Christ-like. So the next time you complain or resist a habit or action from someone close to you, ask God if it has been placed there to develop some quality in you. Pride is the root source of the need to change another person. A man’s wisdom gives him patience – to let go of little offenses. This is where spiritual maturity is seen in the day-to-day activity of life.

Is there someone close to you who has some habit you really want to change? Give up that desire to the Lord. Who knows, He may even change it after you let go of the need to change it.

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