I had a bad week. It happens. But it shouldn’t have.
You see, what started as a perfectly good Monday turned into an opportunity for Satan to get a foothold in my life. I let someone offend me.
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11, NIV).
I know better. But I let it simmer in my heart.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).
I thought about what that person had done to me and let my mind dwell on the offense.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things (Philippians 4:8).
Then I began to complain about it to my husband.
He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends (Proverbs 17:9).
The next thing I knew, I was in a foul mood. My whole attitude changed. I lost my peace and joy.
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit (Proverbs 15:13).
My whole week went downhill from there. The enemy got a foothold in my life. I began to walk in the flesh, ignoring the promptings of the Spirit. I was actually physically sick by the end of the week–I believe as a result of my stress and worry.
You see, when we are offended by someone, we have a choice then and there to start with that first Scripture and pray for that person. We can ask God to give us supernatural love for them, patience with them, and the ability to overlook the offense. That’s what I should have done.
If we don’t deal with the matter in a godly way, we will progress through what I call the “mind, mouth, mood syndrome.” We let an offense or a worry or a temptation settle in our hearts, rather than guarding our hearts. Then we dwell on this matter, rather than renewing our minds in God’s Word.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).
Next, out of the overflow of our hearts, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34). And we all know that words contain power. We allow our own words to bring ruin to our attitudes, our countenance, and our witness.
All the while the enemy sits back and laughs. Because of a little offense, I lost ground in my mission for the Lord. I spent a week stewing over something that was of no eternal value. I lacked the power and anointing to do any ministry for God.
Friends, I believe that this is one way that the devil keeps us ineffective as Christians and as a body. We let worries, offenses, and temptations keep us sidetracked and useless to the Kingdom. We walk around in the flesh, no different from the world around us.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3).
I had everything I needed last week to walk in the Spirit. I just didn’t choose to. I think sometimes we fear letting go of our offense because it may let the other person win. We stay in worry, fear, and dread, because we don’t trust God to come through.
This past summer at a Beth Moore conference, I heard her say that dread is prophesying the unfaithfulness of God. I have thought on that so much since then. How true that statement is! When we dread, fear, doubt, worry, don’t forgive, don’t let go of offense–in all these things, we are saying we don’t trust God to be faithful.
But He is faithful!
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).
God is faithful. He’s given us everything we need to walk in the Spirit. And it is only there in the place of obedience and trust that we find His blessings of peace, love, and joy.
So the next time someone offends, or the temptation comes to worry or disobey His Word, I will remember the faithfulness of my God. And I’ll trust and obey, for He is faithful.
May we keep these songs in our hearts this week.