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A Prayer to Let Go of Offense
By Lynette Kittle

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” – Proverbs 19:11

Doesn’t it seem like individuals are easily offended these days? Even more so, it seems like some are looking for reasons to be offended. Social media has made it easier than ever to give and take offense, along with providing an international platform to express it. Crying offense seems to empower people to feel justified in speaking their minds and putting others in their place. Sadly, gaining attention these days also seems to be a catalyst and motivator to be offended. Still those easily offended are most often saying much more about themselves than those who have offended them.

Saying “No” to Offense
Although the world seems to revolve around offense, we don’t have to get caught up in it or social media’s hurtful tactics. As Christians, we don’t have to become entrapped in its web but rather rise above it and resist taking offense. Where it’s even harder for us to avoid is when it comes from other believers in Jesus Christ. Especially since Romans 12:10 urges, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

We have higher expectations for Christians and often don’t expect offense from them or see it coming. Too, we think that overall in life, they’ll be more understanding and kinder in how they deal with us, so when they don’t meet our expectations, we’re blindsided. Still, Matthew 12:36, explains, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”

So what do we do when the opportunity to take offense comes from those whom we least expect it from and those who have the ability to cause the deepest wounds? 

Discovering How to Let Go
Amidst these hurtful experiences, God offers us the opportunity to let go of offenses by submitting to His will and forgiving others, allowing Him to fine-tune and refine our hearts during the process. This often starts with our shining a spotlight within ourselves, revealing areas in our hearts that need exposing, and examining our own attitudes and behaviors. Like 2 Corinthians 13:5, urges, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?”

When we do, we often discover our own hidden weaknesses, ones we maybe didn’t even realize existed within us, which has a tendency to soften our hearts towards the weaknesses of others. Recognizing we are in need of forgiveness on a regular basis helps us be more willing to forgive others. Colossians 3:13 urges us to “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

In choosing to overlook offenses, we can rely on God for wisdom, asking for His leading in our reactions and responses. Rather than focusing on another’s weakness, we can choose to forgive, keeping God’s forgiveness for us at the forefront of our thoughts. In our godly handling of it, we begin to experience it less and less, as we learn to resist its call to embrace it. And the more we choose to overlook offenses, the more the love of God will be reflected through us. The Apostle Paul describes how he welcomes things that, for most of us, would cause offense. “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Let’s Pray: 

Dear Father,
Help me to overlook offenses, as Your word urges. Rather than being defensive and taking on anger and resentment towards others, lead me to be a peacemaker and to bring reconciliation to those around me. Soften my heart to be so tender towards You, so that instead of being offended by the words, actions, and attitudes of others, I can easily forgive and look for ways to glorify You. Let me be willing to examine myself and to rely on Your strength in my weaknesses.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Dmytro Buianskyi

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman,,,, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!

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