I was hurt and felt sorry for myself. How could she say those mean thing about me? Were they true? Weren’t we friends? Yet she was devaluing our friendship for some reason.
Should I lash back at her unkind words and defend myself?
Instead, I retreated to a place where I could pray about her comments. I knew I shouldn’t say anything to anyone while angry, especially the one who had attacked my character and integrity.
In the solitude, a still, small voice whispered, “Forgive.”
Forgive? She’s the one who’s hurt me!
Then, a disturbing scene from the Bible came to mind. As Jesus suffered on the cross between two criminals, he looked down at those who were crucifying him and prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23: 34 niv).
How could I not forgive? I continued to wrestle with my thoughts, but I chose to forgive.
A few days later, I called and invited her to go to lunch. There, I asked for her forgiveness. I may never see reconciliation with this friend. But I’m at peace, knowing I did the right thing.
How do you respond to an offense? Anger? Gossip? Bitterness? Bad language? Some other responses might include passive aggression, emotional withdrawal, crying, depression, or even agreeing with the offender to avoid conflict.
What promises from God’s Word help you when you’ve been offended or rejected?
Make a note on your timeline about when you’ve struggled with anger or bitterness, noting how you settled your conflicts. Now, freewrite about one of these experiences.