The writer of Proverbs says that we have to guard our heart against offenses for as long as we live.
People let us down and say things that hurt our feelings.
To go through a divorce or lose our career or be cheated by someone we trust hurts deeply.
These offences try to break in and take up residency in our heart; and if they do, they produce resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness.
It’s inevitable that if we hold on to the hurt, the bitterness and poison become a part of who we are, and we get stuck in a place of festering pain.
We cannot allow resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness to take up valuable space in our heart, because God wants to work and do good things in our heart.
Jesus says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good” – Luke 6 verse 45.
Offences take the space of the good things God wants to do in our heart.
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 life.
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”.
When someone says or does something hurtful to us, we have to seal off the harm of those offences from our hearts.
Proverbs 17 verse 9 says, “He who covers and forgives an offence seeks love”. You have to cover that offence. You have to forgive.
It doesn’t belong to you.
It didn’t originate with you.
The offence came from that situation.
It belongs to that other person.
It is not yours unless you take it in.
It is only yours to forgive and to cover.
The Scripture tells us that offences will surely come, but it also tells us how to deal with an offence – cover it and forgive.
The choice is ours.
Don’t let life’s hurts get embedded in your heart.
When the next offence comes your way, 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”.
Don’t do that.
Rather, 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, I am pushing this offence away.
I forgive this person.
I release the hurt.
I release the pain, and I am free”!