Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Small Offenses: Big Rewards
A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Proverbs 19:11 (NIV)
'Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom' (Proverbs 4:7). Wisdom is the only thing young King Solomon requested when God told him he could have his heart's desire. Because he asked for the right thing, God gave him everything.
One benefit of wisdom is patience. In our 'gotta have it now' generation, patience seems to be a lost virtue. But Christians know better.
We know we must wait for what we want, but the mistake we make is waiting on man rather than God. One thing we want is justice. When someone offends us accidentally (like spilling a drink or making a stupid remark), we want the wrong acknowledged. When someone offends us deliberately (doing something mean), we want the wrong righted.
When we become offended at someone's wrong behavior, we become wrong ourselves. Even worse, we become wrong witnesses of Christ. Why and how?
1. We refuse the opportunity God has placed in front of us to learn patience.
2. We expect another person to right a wrong when God clearly states, 'Vengeance is Mine' and 'I will repay' (Deuteronomy 32:35).
3. We expect God to forgive our offenses when we do not forgive others.
4. We hope for God's mercy, but we do not extend mercy to others.
5. We show a lack of faith in God's perfect justice.
The Bible says it is to our glory (triumph, honor, distinction, praise) to overlook an offense. We want God's glory. If overlooking an offense is one way to get it, let us become like children hoping for a teacher's gold star. Better yet, many gold stars. Many glories.
Thereby, small offenses overlooked yield big rewards. So, the next time we feel offended, let's look up, smile, and say thank you!