BEFRIENDING OFFENSE, BEFRIENDING FORGIVENESS

APRIL 26

Matthew 18:21-35

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

‘One who has befriended offense will give it a ride on the journey to fulfilling vision’

The Holy spirit dropped this saying in my heart on a Saturday morning as I meditated, I put some thought to it and I was able to picture it.

Looking at this literally, let’s say for instance, you are on your way somewhere, and you meet a friend, one whom you have fellowshipped with, one whom you have spent time with at one point or the other. (We have all at one point or the other been offended for several reasons) This friend is at the bus stop, you decide to give the ‘friend’ a ride, the ‘friend’ urging you as well. Ideally, this person must have a destination in mind, as a matter of fact, you as the driver should inquire if it’s the same direction you are going.

If you have befriended offense, it is not only going in your direction, it is willing to follow you around and dwell with you as long as you play the ‘friendly host’, as a matter of fact it will give you justifiable reasons as to why it should remain with you, and once you begin to consider it, you are hooked.

Offense is like sweet poison, it’s easy to ‘take’ but the results are drastic, the longer it stays, the more damage it causes.

If you have decided to accommodate offense,  Remember! You were on your way to fulfil vision, you might even be at the destination, but you would have lost focus, your priorities would be different, because offense will keep you busy. You will be busy sulking, throwing a ‘pity party’, plotting revenge, being bitter, complaining (oh they did this, they did that!), murmuring, gossiping, slandering, nursing ulcers caused by bitterness, the list goes on. You forget where you are going or why you are there in the first place.

The Antidote
Forgiveness! Is the antidote for offense, it will neutralize its poisonous effect. It is no wonder Jesus said forgive your brother 70 x7 times, doing a quick math that’s 490 times, this covers 365 days in a year plus some extra! It means forgiveness should dwell with you all year round.

Wouldn’t you say you have to befriend forgiveness? how else would you be able to live with it,  all year round, you have to be comfortable having it with you, and most especially giving it, it might not be easy, afterall you were once friends with offense, it will try to win you back, but give it no place in your life, do away with offense!

You have decided to do away with offense, and embrace forgiveness. Remember! You are still on that journey to fulfil vision, now that you have forgiveness, whether you are using it for yourself or giving it out, it will keep you busy as well, busy hearing from God, fulfilling purpose, attending to the assignments God has given you, setting yourself and people free.

 

For further Study

Matthew 6:14-`15

Personal declaration for the day

I will not befriend offense, I will befriend forgiveness

Questions for you to reflect on

What are you holding on to? Offense or forgiveness.