What is Offense?
The offense is defined as a feeling of displeasure or resentment caused by a wrong done or an insult received. In other words, it’s when someone does or says something that makes us feel angry, hurt, or upset.
It’s important to realize that only some offense is equal. Some offenses are much more serious than others and require a different level of response. For example, if someone cuts you off in traffic, that’s a minor offense. But if someone cheats on you or steals from you, that’s a major offense.
The key is to learn how to respond to offense in a way that honors God and preserves relationships. Here are five biblical principles for overcoming offense:
- Don’t take matters into your own hands.
- When you’re feeling offended, you first must resist the temptation to take matters into your own hands and seek revenge (Romans 12:17-19). When we try to get even with someone who has hurt us, we only end up causing more harm and further damaging our relationship. Instead, we should trust God to handle the situation and take comfort in knowing that He will ultimately vindicate us (Psalm 37:5-6).
- Forgive those who have offended you.
- Another important principle for overcoming offense is forgiveness (Matthew 6:14-15; 18:21-35). When we forgive those who have wronged us, we release them from the debt they owe us and free ourselves from the bitterness and resentment from holding on to anger. Jesus said that unforgiveness is like being chained up and dragged around by our offenses (Matthew 18:34), so it benefits us far more to let go of our grudges than to hold onto them.
- Confront those who have offended you in a Spirit-led way . . .
- Sometimes, God may lead us to confront those who have offended us (Galatians 6:1; Matthew 18:15-17). This should be done in a spirit of humility and genuine concern for the other person’s well-being (Galatians 5:15; Philippians 2:3-4). The goal is not to shame or put down the other person but to help them see how their actions have hurt you and others and to encourage them to change their behavior. Also, keep in mind that not all offenses can or should be confronted – some may be best left alone (Proverbs 19:11) . . .
- Overcoming Offense Biblically
- The dictionary defines offense as “a feeling of displeasure or hostility aroused by a wrong or insult.” When we are offended, we can respond in one of two ways. We can either let the offense destroy our relationship, or we can let it drive us closer to God and to the person who offended us. The Bible gives us clear instructions on how to deal with offense.
- Will we be offended?
- The first step to overcoming offense is to realize that we will be offended. We are wrong if we think we can go through life and never be offended. We will be offended by other people, and we will be offended by life itself. And that’s okay! It’s not a sign that we are bad people or doing something wrong. It’s just a fact of life.
The second step is to choose not to take offense. This may sound like a strange thing to say, but it’s important to understand that taking offense is a choice. We can let someone’s words or actions roll off us like water off a duck’s back, or we can take those words or actions personally and let them seep into our hearts and minds and cause us pain. Again, it’s important to realize that taking offense is a choice, and we always have the power to choose how we react to the things that happen to us in life.
The third step is to forgive those who have offended us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting what happened or pretending it didn’t hurt; forgiveness means letting go of our anger and resentment towards the person who hurt us. When we forgive someone, we free ourselves from the negative emotions weighing us down and choose to move on with our lives.
And finally, the fourth step is to pray for those who have offended us. Praying for someone does not mean that you condone their actions; it simply means asking God to bless them and work in their lives in whatever way He sees fit. By praying for those who have hurt us, we are choosing to see them through God’s eyes instead of our own, and we are giving them (and ourselves) the gift of grace and peace.
Pray for God to help you overcome offense
If you follow Jesus Christ, then the Holy Spirit lives inside you. That means that you have the power to overcome anything- even if it seems impossible. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by offense, here are four things you can do to start overcoming it:
- Pray and ask God to help you overcome your offense. It’s not something that you can do on your own- you need God’s help.
- Get rid of anything that is fueling your offense. This could be a friendship, a job, or anything else that is causing you to feel offended.
- Choose to forgive the person who has offended you. This is a decision that only you can make, but it’s an important one if you want to start moving on from your offense.
- Focus on the positive things in your life. There will always be negative things happening, but if you focus on the good, it will help offset the bad.
- Ask God to search your heart.
- .When someone offends you, it’s easy to hold onto that offense and let it rot. But that’s not what God wants us to do. He wants us to forgive and forget, giving us the power to do so through His Holy Spirit.
If you’re struggling to overcome an offense, here are five biblical steps you can take:
- Ask God to search your heart.
- The first step is to humble yourself and ask God to reveal any unforgiveness in your heart. Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Pray this prayer and ask God to show you anything that needs to be dealt with.
- Confess any unforgiveness to God.
- Once God reveals any unforgiveness in your heart, confess it as a sin and ask Him to help you forgive the person who has offended you. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness.” When we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So don’t try to hide your unforgiveness from God — confess it and ask Him for help overcoming it.
- Forgive the person who has offended you from your heart.
- After you’ve asked God to search your heart and revealed any unforgiveness to Him, it’s time to forgive the person who has offended you from your heart. We must make this choice — we can choose forgiveness or bitterness, but we can’t have both. Ephesians 4:31-32 says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger… Be kind and compassionate to one another… Forgiving each other… just as in Christ God forgave you.” We are called to forgive others just as Christ has forgiven us — not because they deserve it or because they’ve asked for forgiveness (although those are both good reasons), but simply because that’s what Jesus would do. So make the choice today to forgive the person who has offended you from your heart.
- Pray for the person who has offended you.
- Prayer is a powerful weapon against offense (see Luke 6:28). When we pray for those who have hurt or offended us, it helps us overcome any bitterness or anger we may be feeling towards them. Psalm 109:4 says, “In return for my love they accuse me…” Even when we love others well, they will sometimes accuse us or be offensive towards us. But instead of retaliating or getting offended. We can choose instead to pray for them when we do. It helps soften our hearts towards them.
- Seek restitution if necessary. Suppose someone has hurt or offended you seriously. In that case, they may need to seek restitution – which means making things right between the two of them .. .This could involve an apology, financial compensation, or some other form of restitution .. . If you think restitution may be necessary, . . consult with a wise Christian friend or pastor before taking any action.
- Confess any unforgiveness
- If we want to walk in freedom from the offense, we must first deal with any unforgiveness in our hearts. Allowance of unforgiveness gives the enemy a stronghold in our lives and keeps us in bondage. The first step to overcoming offense is to confess any unforgiveness to the Lord and ask Him to help you release that person from your heart.
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:31-32
Forgive those who have offended you
It’s natural to feel offended when someone doesn’t treat us well. Maybe they hurt our feelings or deliberately did something to wrong us. But no matter how badly we’ve been treated, God’s Word tells us that we are always to forgive those who have offended us.
It can be difficult to forgive someone who has hurt us deeply, but it’s important to remember that forgiveness is not primarily for the offender — it’s for us. Unforgiveness keeps us bound up in negative emotions like bitterness and resentment. It also damages our relationship with God because He tells us to forgive others just as He has forgiven us (Matthew 6:14-15).
If you’re struggling to forgive someone who has wronged you, here are four Biblical steps that can help you overcome offense and extend forgiveness:
Pray for the person who offended you.
A prayer is a powerful tool, and one of the best things you can do for someone who has hurt you is to pray for them. As you pray, ask God to help you see the situation from His perspective and to give you His heart of love and forgiveness toward the offender.
Ask God to help you release any bitterness or resentment.
Bitterness and resentment will only make it harder for you to forgive, so ask God to help you let go of any negative emotions you may be feeling. He will give you His grace and strength to do what He asks you to do.
Purpose in your heart that — no matter what — will not seek revenge or harbor unforgiveness. “I tell you, do not resist an evil person” (Matthew 5:39). When we set out purposefully, not — ahead of time — then we will have a way out when offenses come our way. This doesn’t mean that we won’t be hurt or disappointed when people mistreat us, but it does mean that we won’t seek revenge. Instead, we will choose forgiveness. By making the decision ahead of time not to take vengeance hold, unforgiyou’ve taken away its power over your life.
Ask God to bless those who have offended you
It is human nature to want to retaliate when we have been wronged. We usually want to “get back” at the person who hurt us. This is not the Christian way. When we are offended, we are to go to the Lord and ask Him to bless the one who has offended us. This shifts our focus from getting even to getting blessed. It also sets us free from dwelling on the offense and keeps us from bitter feelings toward the offender.