I finally said what I wanted to...and here's what happened.
I took the bait.
I knew to resist. My whole life I’ve been taught to only speak kind words about others and to at times ultimately resist the urge to say what I was thinking––
only this time I didn’t. I decided to say it.
It’s as if the floodgates opened. I spoke unfiltered words about someone. After the first time, it became almost a habit to speak my emotions regarding them. What was the result? Honestly, it never felt right. I never felt better. I always felt worse, ridden with frustration. My heart was beating fast and my mind was racing. I became distracted from what really matters and the frustration began to consume my thoughts. The worst part was I allowed an offense to creep in.
An offense is like bait. We let our anger fester. We feel justified yet, its effects become worse day by day.
The bait lingers in front of us, enticing our emotions when suddenly, it ensnares us into anger, strife, and bitterness.
I’ve heard unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick. Wow.
Ultimately, Jesus tells us to forgive.
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
490 times?! I believe He tells us to forgive because forgiveness actually sets you free.
So, the question is will we take the bait?
You’re not getting run over by choosing love. You’re actually fighting back against a deeper issue. You’re fighting to maintain your joy and your peace.
If you notice, most successful people get talked about often, and yet, they are not moved off of their mission. This tenacity does not magically appear. We must learn to override dangerous emotions associated with an offense.
If you have been having a hard time not being offended, let me point you to a scripture that has helped me many times.
“…pray for those who spitefully use you.” Luke 6:28b
Every time I think about a situation where I’m holding an offense, I try to pray for them.
It’s difficult. Sometimes it’s the last thing I want to do. But if I do it, it gets easier and eventually, I actually mean what I’m praying. Pray like you pray over yourself. Pray for their future, pray for their health, pray for their wellbeing. The easy response is to stay offended, but the real win is letting go and living in peace.
The real win is letting go and living in peace.