The Power of Forgiveness: Offended

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”—Colossians 3:13, NLT

We have become an easily offended society, and too often the trend is to create a victim status and be offended by anyone who disagrees with us.  

In many cases, such as a young person being bullied on social media, or a toxic work situation, or abusive relationship—and many more circumstances—the offense is very real and hurtful. 

The truth is, we will not get through life without being offended. It’s just not possible. But there is a powerful weapon we can use to fight the harmful consequences. 

We can predetermine to forgive—even if certain people are out to ruin your life or make things difficult. 

Jesus taught us pray, “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us” (Matthew 6:12, NLT).

Holding grudges, harboring resentment, and being unable to forgive will hurt you more than anyone else, and will accomplish nothing.

Sometimes we don’t even realize we are holding onto a grudge or need to forgive someone until a crisis comes and God begins to reveal our hearts to us. 

Proverbs 18:19 observes, “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.” 

Contentions means fighting, striving, and arguing.  Is that the atmosphere in which you want to live?  That is how the enemy wears us out!

The “bars of the castle” won’t protect your heart from hurt, but you might shut God out and make yourself a prisoner of unforgiveness. 

With the comfort and help of the Holy Spirit, we can forgive and overcome that which offends us:  betrayal, false accusations, abuse, and humiliation—all the things Jesus suffered and forgave. 

There is power, freedom, and health in honest forgiveness that comes from the heart of God.

Ray Bentley