Offense can be described as “the act of provoking, annoying, irritating, or causing pain or injury.” It is also related to the feeling that an offense can create, such as, indignation, resentment, or anger. When someone offends us we usually want to strike back with a word or look that usually doesn’t honor God or ourselves. God’s Word gives great wisdom on this subject in Proverbs.
- Proverbs 19:11, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense” (NIV 84). An intelligent person let’s a wrong pass by without responding sinfully. When you overlook an insult it reveals your maturity and gives you honor in the sight of others.
- Proverbs 16:32, “Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city” (NLT). It is better to be patient than warlike or contentious. It’s better to control yourself than to control others.
- Proverbs 18:19, “An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars” (NLT). Once you have offended another person it is highly unlikely you will change their mind about your or your idea. Their mind becomes fortified, barred, and locked.
- Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare” (NLT). Often it is not so much what we say but the way we say it that prompts someone to accept or reject our statement.
- Proverbs 17:14, “Starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate, so stop before a dispute breaks out” (NLT). When an argument flares up, the wise quenches it with silence. A quarrel is like buttermilk, once it’s out of the churn; the more you shake it, the sourer it grows.
- Proverbs 21:23, “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble” (NLT). How often has a word left unchecked created disaster in another person’s life?
- Proverbs 22:24-25, “Don’t befriend angry people or associate with hot-tempered people, or you will learn to be like them and endanger your soul” (NLT). A bad temper is contagious, if you are not careful you can become like them. Choose your friends carefully.