Life will always have difficult people, whether it is on the job, in the family, at work or even in the church. Scripture is clear that we are not to be the offenders (2Cor. 6:3 giving no cause for offense in anything, in order that the ministry be not discredited).
Though we may know how to correct our own disobedience if we offend someone, it is sometimes harder to accept that we all have people in our lives who have the power to offend. But accepting the offense is in our power. We can choose to accept the offense and be offended (resentful, indignant or annoyed), or we can choose to reject the offense and respond Biblically.
There are a number of possible reactions to offense. Here are 5 Biblical responses:
Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Opposite: Speaking without thinking or reacting instead of responding, would be thought-less instead of thought-ful. Instead of reacting, think about it and pray about it before you respond.
Proverbs 5:1 Pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words fo insight
Ecclestiastes 10:12 Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips
Gracious – godly, pleasing, marked by kindness and courtesy, tact and delicacy are seldom heard when emotions are high. A wise man looks to the end result for others, instead of satisfying his own emotions.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones
How can our words be pleasant and profitable for others? By asking yourself before speaking – how can I speak so I will bring profit to this person?
Besides, aren’t we all more likely to listen to and learn from pleasant words?
Job 6:25 How painful are honest words! But what does your argument prove?
If our words are in the best interest of the hearer, they will heal instead of hurt.
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
3John 11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good.
but if we are to make the choice to apologize.
I hope you feel armed – you and I will be offended – likely every day – but how you and I respond is our choice.