“Accept then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” These are words of Eckhart Tolle. Acceptance is an attitude that we often do every day consciously or unconsciously. But when it comes to pain, emotional pain caused by offenses to be specific, acceptance can be quite difficult. You will find yourself struggling between retaliation and forgiveness. This the lesson that God has been teaching me lately.
Retaliation can be in any form. In my case, giving a hard cold shoulder when the person is around and staying away are my ways of being polite. On the other side of the pendulum is overlooking the offense, a Christ-like way. The consequences of the former choice can be detrimental to the relationship. Pain caused by the offense, especially if is not true or sometimes you are clueless, can cloud not only our judgment. The sorrow and worry can also cloud our perception upon the offender. However, the most painful about retribution when we dwell on it is the trouble it can cause us. It has the power to interrupt our day and ruin it even before we know it until we snap our self out of it and move on. In short, inner peace has become elusive. The worst part, the offender did not even know or sometimes care about it.
Overlooking the offense is not easy. If the pain that it caused you is a bit much, forgiving can be a challenge. In my case, through prayers and acceptance, God has led me to overlook the offense and forgive. By His grace and through constant prayer, God has led me to reach out to the person even if my heart did not want to. Moreover, God has shown me how rewarding it was to obey Him. More than the reconciliation of relationship, the blessing of inner peace and joy are found again. The best part, God is honored and glorified.
The key to dealing with offenses is not easy. “We overlook offense by looking up to God” according to Scott Hubbard. By His grace, overlooking the offense is quite possible. I have to realize that this attitude is what God has been chipping out from my heart by His chisel for the past two years. Thus, I can say now that I am grateful to my offender for the pain he has caused me. So, you see. Even people who are difficult to deal with has a purpose in our life. As Charles Spurgeon said, “Great hearts can only be made by great troubles.” Remember, every cloud has a silver lining. Thank you, Lord, once again, for continuously allowing me to see the SILVER LINING through offenses by overlooking it, for teaching me more about humility and grace through acceptance of any situation, especially when my heart says no.