How To Handle An Offense Prov. 14: 10 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO of How to Handle an Offense
In the Christian life, you are going to be hurt by another Christian at some point in your life. It seems that everyone goes through this experience at least once. And some folks go through it several times. This lesson is about what to do when another Christian “stabs you in the back,” or slanders you or brings reproach. You need to know how to handle an offense.
Don’t murmur and complain – Prov 14:10 – you are the only one who really understands how you feel. Others will either minimize the pain or exacerbate the problem in siding with you against the other person. Telling others, generally, just fans the flames and gets you more riled up than you were before.
Take it to God – 1 Pet 5:7 – the Lord cares for you. Through an experience like this you will draw closer to the Lord when you cast your care on him.
Repeat, “It is Well” – 2 Ki4:18-26 – these experiences are rough, to say the least. But you must continue to view them from God’s perspective. When you continue to love the Lord and fulfill his purpose in your life, all is well [Rom 8:28].
Worship God – Job 1:20-22 – after all the bad news Job received in one day, he worshipped God. You cannot take your eyes off the Lord. And you cannot charge God foolishly. Often we think God should have intervened on our behalf to prevent this incident. Don’t blame God.
Don’t retaliate – Prov 20:22 – don’t try to get even. The Lord didn’t say that he would spare you from this kind of trouble. He said that “he shall save thee.” It shouldn’t make any difference to you what God does to them. It doesn’t matter. He just needs to save you.
Overcome evil with good – Rom 12:19-21 – that’s what Joseph did for his brothers when they came to Egypt. Vengeance is the Lord’s. He’ll repay if he wants to and in the way he desires. That’s none of your business. I have heard people say things like, “That fellow crossed me a while ago, and now something bad has happened to him. You see, God repaid him for what he did to me.” That is a very cruel attitude and not at all consistent with this passage of scripture [see also Prov 24:28-29].
Forgive and put away the bitterness – Eph 4:30-32 – forgiveness is what the Lord has given us to get over these offenses. Forgiveness is how you put away the bitterness. If you don’t put away the bitterness, it will become a root that springs up and defiles many, like your closest friends and family [Heb 12:15]. The damage to them will be on you; not on the person who offended you. You should strive to be better, not bitter.
Visualize heaven – Rev 5:8-10 – when our lives are done here on earth, we are all going to be standing and kneeling together worshipping the Lord. It won’t matter one bit what someone has done to you when we are bowing before the Lord. They may be right next to you. Praise the Lord!
Seek reconciliation – Lk 17:3-4 – you don’t have to become enemies. You may be able to reconcile down the road. Your relationship may never again be what it was but you definitely don’t want to hold a grudge.
Minister consolation – 2 Cor 1:3-7 – other people are going to go through something like you have been through. You can minister to them because you understand how to get through the offense.
Conclusion: these steps are tried and true. Remember them if they don’t apply to your life right now. You will certainly need them at some point down the road.