By Joey and Maan Oreta
The last part of the bait of Satan talks about reconciliation for every offense that happened to you.
Sometimes people unknowingly do things that offend you. And as a Christian, the first recourse is to utter the words, “I forgive.” But as days go by, something grows inside of you and you think otherwise. Why did I forgive right away? He should have known better because he is a Christian! Why is he like that? So you avoid that person as much as you can until you can avoid him no more.
What should be your first reaction when you are offended? In Acts 24:16, Pauls says, “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.” This simply means that you should not be offended by God or by man. As humans, you can say that it is normal to get offended. But this verse clearly states not to be offended, no matter how big the offense. This verse also tells you how not to take offense, and that is by exercising it. In Greek, the word exercise is askō, which means to take pain, labor or strive and to engage in some activity with continuity and effort. Exercising is not a one time, big time thing. You have to do it all the time and exert effort. There may be pain involved in the process but you have to continue. The one who exercises more becomes stronger and becomes less prone to injury. With this regard, those who do not exercise not being offended do not build the muscle of resilience and are thus easily offended all the time. Those who do not exercise frequently in God’s word are also easily swayed and led to the wrong path.
How can you fight offenses and develop muscles to be resilient to it? Psalms 119:164-165 says, “Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws. Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make then stumble.” Because you pray 7 times a day and love the word of God, nothing can offend you. It is good to know that is it always easier to protect yourself from being injured in the very beginning by building these muscles than trying to get well once you are injured.
But what should you do if you are already offended?
There is a proper way to recover from an offense. If you have a physical injury, you will most likely have physical therapy. Physical therapy is focused training on the injured part of the body until it gets back to its previous state. If that is the case with physical therapy, what kind of training is the Bible asking you to do if you get injured or offended? Matthew 5:44 says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” That is your “physical therapy