Read: Psalms 1:1-3; Proverbs 15:1; Luke 6:28; James 1:19
Are you easily offended? Think back on this week. Has anyone offended you with their words or actions? Nothing earth shattering like the major offenses that mark us for life, but just the small things that irritate us enough to be noticed. Maybe a complete stranger cut you off in traffic, your co-worker shot down your incredible idea, someone posted something politically-charged on social media yet again or someone in your family made a selfish decision without considering how it affected you. I bet if you look hard enough, you can find a scenario that wasn’t handled the way you would have liked. If only we had the superpower to control other people’s choices - wouldn’t the world be a better place?
So, when those offenses happen, what thoughts go through your mind? Better yet, what words about that person come out of your mouth? Do you bless them or bless them OUT? Sunday, Pastor Craig painted for us an encouraging picture of what forgiveness is NOT, but he also talked about what forgiveness looks like - blessing those who hurt you. Now I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t come very naturally for me. I mean, you cut me off in traffic like I’m not there; you hurt my pride by rejecting my ideas; you badger me with your political opinions; you make a decision without caring how it affects me? It’s not likely that the first thought to cross my mind will be, “God bless you” - at least not in a favorable way. But, what if it was? What if instead of immediately reacting like the rest of humankind, we took those thoughts of ill-will captive and blessed the offender?
Sometimes, blessing your offender might be as simple as holding your tongue. But, imagine how we might collectively put the enemy in a tailspin if we started speaking words of kindness, positivity or blessing over those who offend us. We may not have the power to control what they say or do, but we do have the power to control our response. And, if we believe God can truly change US and how we respond, then we are just one step away from His supernatural power working within us to make our world a better place.
Pray: Thank you, God, that you bless me even when my thoughts, actions or words offend you. Reveal to me the way I respond to others when they offend me. Change me from the inside out that my response to others would reflect the way you respond to me. In Jesus’ name, amen.