“Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him” Luke 17:3 NKJV

In life, offences are inevitable, and we are more likely to be offended by people close to us. There is usually a different level of emotional pain we feel whenever people we share any form of relationship with hurt us. It is mostly from people we look up to or expect better from because of the relationship. This is why we must be adequately equipped and prepared for them. 

In our anchor text, Jesus explains the inevitability of offences. He spoke to his disciples then and is speaking to us today that offences will surely come. However, Jesus does not just stop there, He tells you what to do when offences come. Forgive! This is the Bible’s approach to handling offence. We must always be ready to forgive because God commanded us (Luke 17:4). 

There is most likely the temptation to ponder “But Jesus, the hurt was deep, I don’t know about forgiveness just like that”. You are not alone, it is made worse by the fact that the offender may never apologise or admit their wrong at least. These are genuine concerns but be comforted by the fact that your feelings touch Jesus who gave this command and He has not burdened you beyond your capacities (Hebrews 4:15-16). You can learn and be inspired by Him. You have the holy spirit and enablement to do God’s will (Philippians 2:13). This means that you should be elastic and forgive every time you remember the offence (Matthew 18:22). 

Moreover when offences are not well handled, they could lead to more offences. This is evident in the killing of Abel by Cain, his brother. Despite being called to order by God, he still proceeded to kill his brother (Genesis 4:6-8). The devil takes advantage of an unforgiving heart to plant more untoward thoughts in your heart against the offenders (2 Corinthians 2:10-11). We must be able to discern the devil’s strategy and always walk in forgiveness. 

Moreover, when we learn to handle offences well, we let go of bitterness and a troubled heart. God is glorified through our conduct and we afford the offenders an opportunity to repent of their wrongs. In Romans 12:17-21, Paul instructs believers on how to deal with offences. This is how God will be glorified through our lives and conduct. Pray for those who offend you as well. When we pray for them, we see them in the light of Christ, worthy of forgiveness and love. This is God’s expectation for every believer. 

DO THIS: Pray for those who might have offended you and let go of the hurt in your heart towards them. 

Bible Reading Plan: Luke 6: 1-16

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