Psalms 62:5 My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
It never ceases to amaze me, the way the devil uses our offenses and our "offendedness" to divide and conquer marriages, relationships, churches -- even entire nations!
Many of us are not careful enough about the things we say and more importantly, we get offended way too easily. As we were discussing this topic recently, a good friend gave this analogy and we loved it:
If you are holding a baby and his little arm swats you in the face, would you take offense to that? Of course not! We know the little guy didn't intend to hurt us. We respond with "awwww" or laughter or something to that effect. But if it is a friend, a family member or a brother or sister in the church who offends us with a little swat of his words or actions, we are undone. We expect more from them! What hypocrisy! We become angry and we want to defend ourselves, fight back or leave forever.
Yeshua (Jesus) said NO! He said that even if someone despite-fully uses us, that means on purpose, that we are to respond in love! We as human beings are troubled and sinful. We are not perfect and we should never expect others to be, no matter what their positions are in the church. God is perfect and He is the one from whom our expectations should come -- no man.
So let's be quick to forgive, and slow to anger! Turn over all of those offenses to the Lord and allow Him to restore His perfect shalom over us!