May 11, 2021
Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
James draws on the above verse when cautioning his readers to be slow to speak and slow to anger (James 1:19-20). Here, Solomon specifically exhorts his son to overlook an offense with the promise that it will be his glory. There are appropriate times to express anger toward injustices or oppression (as Jesus did when cleansing the temple), but when we respond in anger toward others because they have offended us, we will cause more harm than good. In contrast, when we overlook an offense, we bring glory to God that reflects on us as image-bearers of his Son.
So how do we appropriate a life of grace that overlooks offenses? By remembering. We remember how we have offended others and how God has graciously forgiven us. We remember that those who offend us will only change when they encounter God’s grace through us. And we remember that taking offense at others will only rob us of peace. The other person is likely oblivious to the offense and is not giving it any further thought.
In your mercy, Father, humble our hearts and help us to see others through your eyes, that we might overlook their offenses. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling