Proverbs 19:11 NIV
A person’s wisdom yields (gives) patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
Do not take to heart all the things that people say… Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.
Patience has its limits,
A balloon filled with grudge.
It needeth no needle to burst with rage.
One last blow,
One slight budge,
Might just unlock the lion's cage.
Like one striped black and white,
Whose image deceptively innocent.
Suppressed anger, explodes suddenly as you draw closer.
Masked under the pressure of the name entitled 'perfect'.
Her facade slowly creeping through the cracks
Seen by the people who love and deeply know her.
Hidden beneath her sweetened smile
Is a bitter, scowling heart.
She hopes would fade away along with unwanted memories.
It is beauty she longs to see
Not the mistakes and the lies,
But the grace of Jesus upon her unforgiven enemies.
What is in her heart is displayed by her flesh.
Afraid of the mockery, disappointment, and resent.
She keeps up her front. Convicted.
But once anger could no longer be restrained,
Regret and guilt will start to sprout.
The people whom she loves. Afflicted.
Offended, offended, easily offended.
Little words with hidden meanings, It's hard to accept it.
She shall not give in but her heart has already took hold.
Why, O, why does the soul be too delicate?
Why does it take too much offense?
She hides her pain but it starts to unfold.
Harden, harden, her heart hardens,
Thoughts that invaded her mind deepens.
Thus shutting loved ones out, afraid she'd hurt them.
The day has turned dark, though the sun shines proudly.
A pang in her heart filled with longing,
A longing for the joy found in God alone.
Lord, please renew my hardened heart
And fill it with a love like Yours.
Kind, patient, and with no limits.
Your love keeps no records
Of my wrongdoings and of my hate
You've forgiven me long before and have forgotten all of it.
When my heart forms into a frown,
I pray you'd turn it to a smile.
Contagious and joyful for all to see.
So that they too would seek the same
Joy, love, and glee.
That they'd see you, Jesus, in me.
- Mary France
So, in case you haven’t figured out yet, this poem is about me. I am one who takes offense very easily. Teasings and jokes may be taken too deeply. Hurtful words find it hard to leave my thoughts. And I keep all these things to myself ’cause I know that I might just start crying or worst, hurt somebody with my emotion-driven madness. That’s something I’d like to change. I tried. But I ended up feeling frustrated in the end. That was when I realized that I needed to stop trying so hard to fix myself with my own strength but surrender and let God’s power work through me and change me.
When I get offended, I try not to speak to anybody and isolate myself from people until I feel alright again. I knew in me that every single word they would say, offensive or not, will still upset me. So I kept my distance in order to avoid hurting anyone or throwing my feelings at them. Little did I know, I was just giving enough time for all the negative thoughts and the lies to spread and take over my heart and mind.
Honestly, there were times when I pushed God away and asked Him to leave me and my “feelings” be. Just for awhile, you know. Do you ever feel that way too? It’s scary how we’d rather choose our prideful satisfaction over what is good.
But I always get this sharp thug in my heart. Though outside, it may have hardened a bit ’cause I’m trying my best to hide my vulnerability- yet deep deep down I hear voice in my head screaming at my pride to let go of this offense, the hurt, and to forgive those who hurt me. So that I could move on and end the day right. However, I painfully manage to ignore that voice.
This would usually go on for a few 20 mins. First, my pride will undergo a little quarrel with God. The guilt and conviction starts to overwhelm me. I knew that what I was doing is wrong. I didn’t like feeling negatively of myself or of other people. I didn’t like magnifying their mistakes and minimizing the times they have helped me. I didn’t want to ruin the whole day just because I feel like it.
So I finally gave in to God. I acknowledged my problems. I prayed and talked to God, from the heart. I knew that being annoyed and grumpy for no reason isn’t a good thing- and even if it had a reason, it still isn’t a good excuse. I knew it’d be hard to stop myself from doing so. So I asked God to remove the pride in my heart. I asked Him to help me love those who I find hard to love. I asked Him to help me to forgive those who have hurt me, to take away the offense in my heart, and to fill me with joy once again.
I watched this sermon of Joyce Meyer, “Defeating Bad Moods” and boy O boy did her teaching strike me out of my bones! This was exactly the message I needed to hear… and apply! I loved it when she said,
“As quickly as they hurt, you have to say, “I forgive ’em. Lord, I forgive them”
Maybe your feelings haven’t caught up with your decision yet,
But you just keep saying “I will not be offended.'”
– Joyce Meyer, Defeating Bad Moods
And I loved the continuation even more..
“Do not let that poison get on the inside of you, because most of the people who hurt you and whom you’re holding unforgiveness against are out having a good time living their life and don’t even care or know that you’re sitting in a corner somewhere bleeding.”
– Joyce Meyer, Defeating Bad Moods
In the end of it all, I learned (and am still learning) to look beyond the hurtful words and the offensive actions of the people I know and love, and let God handle it all.
I will choose to not be too deeply offended and I will choose to forgive those who have hurt me (intentionally or unintentionally). I am not going to let one moment ruin my day. And I will not give in to the lies of the enemy. I will let God manifest His love in me and I will choose to rejoice in the Lord.
I hope and pray that you choose the same 🙂
Paalam (goodbye), strawberry jam!
Fail attempt to rhyme.
Okay, serious now…
Grace and peace, God’s masterpiece! 😉