How to Let Go of an Offense

Whatever you focus on increases. If you focus on an offense from someone, the anger and resentment increases. If you focus on trying to understand yourself and the other person, your wisdom and understanding will increase. You’ll find a new level of freedom to right the wrongs once you see the conflicts are opportunities for your growth.

Sometimes the conflict is one incident and other times it’s ongoing.

A friend of mine has an ongoing area of conflict with her husband. She addressed it many times and nothing changes. She said, “I keep thinking that this time if I said it right and that he will get it. But nothing ever changes.”

Sometimes you can address conflict and things change but other times no matter how much you say, the other person simply doesn’t respond. Then it is time for you get your focus off the offense, process your feelings about it and move on.

When you continue to focus on the wrong, you stay in a negative place. This is not good for your physical and mental health. It’s in your best interest to give it up.

However, giving up an offense is not neccarily easy. How do you let it go? Here are some options to try and see what works for you.

7 Tips to let go of an offense

1. Vent. One way is to write out your feelings and frustration. Do it several times if you need to. Be as honest as you need to be in either writing to yourself or to a trusted friend and/or to God. God is not offended with our honest expression of feelings. You have to know how you’ve been wronged or why you’re offended in order to let go. Let yourself acknowledge your frustration and possibly your anger.

2. Understand. Try to understand the other person and their viewpoint. You can even ask God to help you understand them. I pray for God to shine His light on the situation. I ask God to give me wisdom about the situation and to help me understand myself and the other person.  Understanding helps us not to be so judgmental.

3. Release. Make a commitment that you are going to release it to God knowing that at some point, He will right every wrong. He is a God of mercy and at the same time, He is a God of justice. Since we are all accountable to God, it will be dealt with.

4. Pray for help. If you are having trouble letting it go, pray for God to help you, God will help you. You can even ask Him to give you what you need to let the offense go. Sometimes an offense triggers an unhealed hurt or wound for us. Then this is an opportunity to find healing. The pain tells you something is wrong and needs healing. If this is the case, allow the pain. Take your focus off the offense and come to the Lord to heal the hurt.

5. Seek Help. Sometimes talking it through with a trusted friend or counselor can help or read books on how to work through relationship problems. Read the Bible and look for principles which give you wisdom in relationships.

6.  Persist. Depending on how serious the offense is and how deep the wound, the negative feelings may not go away right away. Keep dealing with it. You can bring it to God to help you over and over until you can let it go. Sometimes this is a process especially if there is a lot of hurt involved. Give yourself time. Let yourself have your feelings.

7. Pray for the person. It’s not easy to pray for them and it’s also more difficult to stay angry at someone when you are asking God to bless them.

The principles in the verse below can be applied not only to enemies but to those who offend you.

“Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:35 (NIV)

What has been your experience? What questions do you have? How can I support you in resolving your relationship issues? For further insights on the importance of dealing with offense, I suggest you read, “Bait of Satan” by John Bevere. Also this article has some good insights.

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