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When the Next Offense Comes
By Victoria Osteen - May 10, 2022
It's interesting that Jesus says that as long as we live, "Offenses will surely come" (Luke 17:1), and we all know from our daily experiences just how true that is. So when the next offense comes to you, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to draw it into your life? Are you going to think over and over again about what that person said or what they did or didn't do? When you do that you're saying, "Offense, come on in. Be a part of who I am. Go deep inside." No, don't do that.

The writer of Proverbs says that we have to guard our hearts against offenses. Unfair things happen, and people let us down and say things that hurt our feelings. These offenses try to take up residence in our hearts, and if they do, they produce resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. People who have gone through a divorce or lost their career have been hurt deeply. But if they hold on to that hurt, the bitterness and poison become a part of who they are, and they just never move on from that festering pain.

We cannot allow resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness to take up valuable space in our hearts, because God wants to work and do good things in our hearts. Jesus says, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good" (Luke 6:45). Offenses take the space of the good things God wants to do in our hearts. When we store up the good things and keep the barrier between us and those harmful things, we're going to produce good things in our lives. That's why God is saying today, "Let it go. Start fresh. Make room for the good things I want to put in your heart."

Proverbs 17:9 says, "He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love." You have to cover that offense. You have to forgive. It doesn't belong to you. It didn't originate with you. That offense came from that situation. It belongs to that person. It is not yours unless you take it in. It is only yours to forgive and to cover. The Scripture doesn't say that offenses won't come, but it tells us how to deal with an offense--cover it and forgive. The choice is ours. Don't let life's hurts get into your heart. When an offense comes, you have to take a stand and say, "Listen, I know who I am in Christ Jesus. I will not allow the hurt to get down into my heart. God, in the Name of Jesus, I am pushing this offense away. I forgive this person. I release the hurt. I release the pain, and I am free."
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