When someone hurts or offends you, how do you handle it? Do you hold a grudge, or do you learn to overcome offenses? Take this example from the classic tale, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. The main character Ebenezer Scrooge was an old miser who experienced a string of hurts in his life. The thing is, Scrooge’s chains to his past led to him becoming a bitter, lonely old man. Like Scrooge, we all have things we become offended by. Of all years to feel like a Scrooge at Christmas, 2020 is the year! However, in light of the hardships and hurts we may face, if we do not learn how to overlook and overcome hurt, we can end up haunted and chained up to the ghosts of our pasts.
LIFE IS SHORT AND YOUR CALLING TOO GREAT
In the famous Bible story recorded in 1 Samuel 17 of the Old Testament, we learn that David overcame offenses from his family, authority and enemy intimidation to defeat the Philistine giant, Goliath. As a matter of fact, David knew that life is too short and his CALLING was too great to stay chained to the past. Like David, with God’s guidance and the Holy Spirit’s help, you too can learn how to overcome offenses. But what does that look like practically in your life?
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO OVERCOME OFFENSES?
Letting go of an offense doesn't mean we let the offender off the hook. Rather, overcoming an offense means that you instead choose to surrender the offender to the Lord and worry more about the condition of your own heart. Proverbs 19:11 says "A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense." As a result, in David's battle with Goliath, he was able to laser-focus on God's ability to deliver him. See, David knew he had been called into God's plans and purposes for his life, and he wasn't going to let any offense stand in his way!
REMEMBER YOUR IDENTITY
When David stood up to Goliath in battle, he remembered who He was and whose he was. From Goliath's perspective, David was an insignificant loser. A nobody! Isn't that what the Enemy wants to make us believe? However, when Satan whispers lies about who you are, like David, you can remember that you are a child of God. You have been set apart by God for HIS purpose and calling on your life. You can be reminded that life is too short and your calling is to great to stay chained to the past!
JESUS: THE ULTIMATE OVERCOMER
Similar to David, Jesus knows what it means to overcome offenses. Did you know that when Jesus was nailed to the Cross, he took on our offenses? See, our sin is offensive to God, yet He freely forgave us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now, we can freely forgive others, too! Think for a minute…Is there someone in your life who's offended you? Who you just can't seem to forgive? We pray you will make the decision to forgive them, and call out to Jesus -our ultimate overcomer- for help. Through HIS power, you can start the process of forgiving to overcome any offenses you may face.