img_8900Offense…we candy coat don’t we? I do!  I call it bitterness, I blame it on others, I push it away and cover it up with half-hearted forgiveness. I know people who are offended constantly, they live in this place and quite honestly it aggravates me.

And then the light turns in…ouch!

He is so faithful to shine a light on the dark places in my heart, no matter how small.  Every speck He wants removed. And so I decided to take a look. And sure enough there it was…dark spots of offense speckling my heart like pepper on a white plate. Yuck! What do I with this Lord?

It’s simple really — deal with it!

Every situation requires a plan.  When Jesus had an issue with people He handled each one specifically.  There’s not a blanket approach to dealing with offense, every heart requires careful and compassionate consideration.  img_8952

He confronted the Pharisees,

He wept with Martha and Mary,

He spent the afternoon with Zaccheus,

He reminded His mother about why He came to earth,

He embraced Peter on a beach after His resurrection,

He blinded Saul and renamed him Paul.

Never offended – He dealt with the issues between Himself and others.

So, pray and release people from the strangling hold of offense.

Make the phone call and sort out the issue,

journal and deal with it with God,

turn the spotlight in and search for the speck in your own heart,

confront bad behavior,

set healthy boundaries to guard your heart,

embrace the brokenness of another and simply let it go…

countless ways He would have us deal with the offenses that capture our heart.

Ask Him, He has the perfect solution for each situation.

He does not expect us to stand for abuse and be mistreated – Luke 9:5 “And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”

But He does expect us to turn into what is uncomfortable and face it head on!

If we are not willing to call them on it, we don’t get to carry it. Offense left untended grows and shadows every situation, it colors everything with a tinge of sour and bitter and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It poisons the heart. Candy coated is never a good option – it reminds me of those awful candies that start off sweet but after a few minutes, melting in your mouth, become so sour your face contorts as lips pucker and eyes water, not a pretty look for anyone!

img_9081Psalm 119:1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD.

Proverbs 23:26 My son/daughter, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways..

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Mathew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Take hold of offense and stop letting it drive you dysfunctionally. Embrace the truth about how you feel about the people and situations confronting you and move into the embrace of forgiveness. Each speckle of dark in your heart calls for a different course of action, ask the Holy Spirit to show you how to reconcile each and step into the freedom offered.

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you,

O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.