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Thursday, January 23, 2014

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Like all the chapters in the book of Proverbs, chapter 19 is so incredibly rich. Wouldn’t it be great to examine every concept in this chapter? But we simply don’t have time or space to explore it deeply. So for today lets focus on verse 11 “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”

But how can I overlook an offense? After all, it is an offense against me. This is not right. I should respond to the offender, shouldn’t I? Without question, my natural tendency is to flare up in anger or spend time and energy figuring out a way to pay back double when I have been offended. After all, the offensive person deserves whatever is coming to him. Little by little I am learning the crucial importance of overlooking an offense as recommended by this proverb.

I am learning to think of it this way: if I want to follow the injunction of 1 Peter 1:15 to be holy (even as God is holy) in my conduct, then I need to listen carefully to Micah 7:18, speaking about God. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy.” And Psalm 103 - one of my favorite passages – notice especially verses 8-14, “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

“Lord, I can’t overlook offenses on my own. Fill me with the Holy Spirit so I can have the fruit of the Spirit. With Your love for others flowing through me, only then can I bless them that curse me. Amen.”

David A. Steen
Professor Emeritus
Andrews University