21st Sept. 2012 By Dr. Lim Poh Ann –
Be careful not to fall for the bait of offence – hook, line and sinker.
Offense is inevitable. Jesus says offense (trap/ cause of stumbling/ bait) is unavoidable in life (Luke 17:1). No matter how kind or mild-mannered we are, we are bound to meet prickly people who will rub us the wrong way.
What is our response when people step on our tail? We have been hurt by their off-the-cuff remark. Or we felt they have snubbed us.
Since we are emotional beings, it is natural to respond like this: we become angry, bitter or plan to retaliate.
We all have feelings and are likely to respond negatively when we’re offended. But we should not allow our emotions to get the better of us.
Sin is crouching at the door. But we must learn how to subdue it.
Yes, we might be angry but let this anger be short-lived. “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:26-27).
Yes, we might be bitter but do not allow it to take root. “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).
Go to a quiet place where we won’t be disturbed; breath in slowly and deeply, breath out slowly and deeply for about 15 minutes till the adrenaline rush wanes.
Fix our mind on scripture – how to deal with bitterness and anger:
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11).
Never brood over the incident. If we keep on replaying it in our mind like a broken record, we provide fertile ground for bitterness to thrive and take root (Hebrews 12:15).
Pray for our enemies (Matthew 5:44).
Remember that we too have offended others. So be soft in our approach. “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).
Remember those who are causing the offense are heaping on themselves the woes of God: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke 17:1-2).
When the disciples went out to minister, Jesus instructed them on how to respond if they ever faced an unfriendly welcome:
“If the people in that home welcome you, they are worthy of your peace. May they have the peace you wished for them. But if they don’t welcome you, they are not worthy of your peace. Take back the peace you wished for them. And if the people in a home or a town refuse to welcome you or listen to you, then leave that place and shake the dust off your feet. I can assure you that on the judgment day it will be worse for that town than for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah” (Matthew 10: 13-15).
What Jesus meant was this: Be at peace; don’t be perturbed. Don’t take things into your own hands; don’t attempt to retaliate. Leave the judgment to God in the future.
Similarly, Paul also exhorts us in Romans 12:18-19: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
When the offense bait dangles itself in front of you, don’t swallow it.
“Don’t be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
Life is too short for us to waste our time and energy brooding over an offence.
Source : Porridge For The Soul By Dr Lim Poh Ann
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