'Day One' Blog

What To Do With An Offense

photo by Michal Malton (Unsplash)

Good sense makes one slow to anger,
 and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Proverbs 19:11

What would it mean to overlook an offense? When you are wronged in some way, to whatever degree, what thinking do you apply to that incident that tells you whether or not you ought to overlook it? Maybe your emotions make the decision for you. Maybe your “history” with that person makes the decision for you. And maybe you are thoughtful and prayerful as you consider what ought to be done.

The thing is, overlooking an offense does not mean turning a blind eye as if nothing happened. Quite the opposite. To overlook, in the way King Solomon speaks about, is to make an informed decision. You know just what happened. You understand the weight of the offense. And you consciously select the “overlook” option. Apparently, that act becomes your glory – like an ornament of stunning beauty.

You’re set up to some degree, to make this kind of counter intuitive choice because of your good sense. That good sense makes you non-reactive. Rather you are poised and responsive, not under the sway of your temper. Wouldn’t that be a lovely way to move through life!

Maybe the path to overlooking an offense appears as we come by good sense and practice good sense. The King James Bible uses the word discretion in the place of good sense. So think along the lines of being prudent, insightful, and understanding. You’ll have the idea then.

We can huff and dig our heels in. We can wait for people to stop doing mean things. Or we can reach for something beyond ourselves so that we meet the inevitable arrows with a response that’s wondrously supernatural. This is entirely possible for Jesus followers. But it won’t happen at all unless we are under the sway of God the Spirit and in possession of the good sense we receive as He shapes our thinking.

Next steps? Get in the Word of God. We have to open our ears to the voice of the Holy Spirit as we look in His Word. We must wait on Him. We must confess (to the Lord and to one another) our weaknesses and reticence to overlook offenses. We must ask Him to change our thinking so that we want to honor Him more than we want someone to suffer for their offense.

Meet you at the throne of grace,


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  • Kirk DeWitt


    Awesome word! Very helpful for us all. Odds are good that arrows will come at some point and we can be ready.

  • Colleen St. Onge


    Well-said! Thank you Annie for the reminder! Shalom, Colleen

  • Wendy


    Wow, so powerfully worded as all of your writings are Anne! It definitely takes the power of the Holy Spirit to overlook offenses! May I/we seek to honor Him by doing just that! The world would look a lot different if that was forefront in the minds of Jesus’ followers.

    • Anne Barbour


      Not complicated at all. But impossible without the Spirit of God. Thanks, Wendy!

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