“Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
– Michael Hyatt from ‘Why leaders can’t afford to be offended’’
The other day I did it again and took offense at a comment on Facebook.
I chose to make it personal and kept going over it in my mind until my emotions got the better of me. I quickly typed in a comment to straighten that person out.
Thankfully, before I hit the send button, I called my husband and shared my offense with him. He calmly advised me to let it go because it would not accomplish any great purpose and probably create more misunderstanding.
Not what I wanted to hear!
But, I did take his advice because I knew it was wisdom even though I was itching to press the send button.
After calming down, I decided I really wanted to get on top of my emotional response to the offense.
I was reminded of this verse in the Bible;
“It is necessary that temptation come, but woe to the person on whose account or by whom the temptation comes.” (Matthew 18:7 AMP)
According to this verse, it is the one who is offended that gets hurt the most.
The Greek word for temptation is “skandalon.” The NASB Greek dictionary says the word refers to “a stick for bait (of a trap).”
It describes the chunk of cheese or peanut butter that entices a mouse to step on the trigger springing a trap.
Once we take the bait, there is no room to wiggle ourselves out of our dilemma.
I was like that mouse drawn into the snare of offense by the Facebook post. The weight of my emotions held me captive. I was trapped!
We must not be led astray by our emotions, no matter how justified you feel.
It is important for me to acknowledge that I am offendeded and even allow myself to feel the emotions of the offense, and then choose my response.
The Apostle Paul writes:
26 “Be angry, and do not sin” (Ephesians 4:26 NKJV)
Getting angry is not the problem, staying angry is as Paul continues the verse:
“do not let the sun go down on your wrath.”
I am reminded that my life is now hid in Christ and that I am dead to the enticement of offense (which is a sin). This helps me get a grip on my emotions.
Forgive the offender and let them go! Set them free and release them from the debt you feel they owe you.
Forgive and release yourself (the real prisoner) from the trap and emotional weight of offense.
This is true freedom!.
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed!” (John 8:36 NIV)