"He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends."
(Proverbs 17:9, Amplified)
Christians are admonished to "put on" qualities of mercy, kindness, humility, and finally love. This unconditional (agape) love is available to those who are in Christ. Agape love binds believers together in an unbreakable fellowship. This type of love is not based on perfection or performance -- it is a choice.
God wants His children to be kind to one another. A quarrel begins like a tiny drip from a faucet. If not stopped, the drip will eventually overflow and create a flood. An issue or conflict should be dealt with before a dispute is allowed to fester.
Minor irritations or annoyances typically do not create an offense, however, when these feelings begin to build, that is when the person begins to sin -- in some cases, it is due to their own deceitful mind.
To succumb to an offense is to take the enemy's bait and fall into his trap. So how can we prevent ourselves from falling into Satan's snare? Choose to love.
Love your brother and remain abided in Christ. Love is the best safeguard against those who cause others to stumble. Whether being the offender or being the offended, both create a stumbling block and spiritual hindrances for one another. The offender sins by leading a person to become offended, and the offended sin when they fall into the trap of taking offense. It's a vicious cycle and the only winner is the enemy. Therefore, we must come to the realization that "love does not offend." We must refrain from doing anything that may lead others astray.
In addition, those who are walking in offense must be quick to forgive the offender. Sure, that's easier said than done. However, until the offended one forgives, they will remain a prisoner of the person who has offended them. Having trouble forgiving? Remember that God forgave you while you were yet still a sinner.
So today, choose to overcome an offense by loving and forgiving the person who has hurt you. It will set them (and you) free from the trap, snare, and hindrance the enemy set before you.
"Silence is never more golden than when one refuses to discuss the weaknesses of a friend."
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email firstname.lastname@example.org .