If truth be known, all of us have offended someone and all of us have been offended. The offense is a cut or wound caused by words or neglect. I wish it were not so, but offenses have divided marriages and families. It has ruined life-long friendships and severed relationships on every level. Strong businesses have crumbled, not for poor cash flow or competition, but for unresolved breaches between people.

Solomon saw this as an abyss: Prov 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.

A brother can be recovered. It is possible, but the restoration process is very difficult. We cannot un-hear or take back what is said, but we can chose what to do with it. We can decide not to let words find root in our hearts.

The key to healing has always been the same: Forgiveness. Forgiveness is the remedy for every adverse thing that life has to offer. Forgiveness is like the Balm of Gilead, healing inward and outward afflictions. Sadly, not all seek it and many will not offer it.

The Bible describes a day of offense when a women poured an alabaster box of precious ointment on the body fo Jesus. “That disciple” leaned against the door complaining about the waste. Jesus rebuked him openly and told him to “leave her alone, for she is anointing me unto my burial.” It was Judas whose story will play out with plotting, betrayal, and regret. He could not take being called out in front of everyone. It offended him and he raced to settle the score. In his quest for self-worth, Judas lost himself.

We don’t know where the offense will lead us. We cannot determine the conclusion of the cut. However, whether it was malicious or in order, it is our choice to decide how we will react to the wound. I cannot determine what is said about me, but I do have the power over my own mind. I can choose to hide it under the blood or I can race to prove them wrong. If I select the latter, I am destined for a life of self-inflicted wounds. Bitterness becomes the drink and anger clouds the future.

Someone needs to decide to find a graveyard and bury every offense in their life. Forgiveness. It is the only thing that can set you free.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

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