What if the counter-acting and abolishing force to offense was compassion?
Instead of choosing offense, causing unrighteous anger and resentment, what if I choose to have compassion that causes connection and love?
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34. Even though they chose to do it! Even though they blatantly did it! Jesus asked Father God for mercy on them!
Lately, I have felt offenses towards myself – cowering my face away from memories of my heart – huffing and puffing toward past decisions. One of the most detrimental choices we can make is to agree with the belief system that comes with self-shame, self-guilt, and self-hate.
So I asked God, “Lord, show me where I am offended of myself. Show me where there is a broken piece of myself still feeling shame, still feeling guilt, still feeling alone outside the covering of Christ, and help me bring her back to my core – to wholeness.”
Before I tell you what he said to me, I want to share some insight I’ve learned in the past two years of being part of our Restoration Team – we facilitate inner-healing. We can forgive people and our past again and again, as well as cast our cares onto Jesus. However, sometimes the things we can’t shake are still there, because 1) there is a new layer to shed and a new truth to believe in, or 2) we haven’t properly identified exactly what happened and God wants us to specifically go after something.
For me, in this zone of offense – sometimes it’s not even a specific memory, but a long seen trace of pieces left shattered like crumbs left behind – God wanted to show me something.
So, in response to my seeking He says to me, “Honey there’s something I need you to know.”
And I say, “Yes Lord, what it is it?”
And like a gentle wind He says, “You were desperate.”
As I sat in that truth of a loving Father showing me my heart through a highlight reel of my desperate past, it all made sense.
I was so desperate for true love.
Any avenue I could find that looked anything like freedom or love to me, I walked through. I so desperately wanted community, companionship, for someone to be there for me, for some true and real connection, for someone to see me, to know me, to hear my story, hear my voice, and to listen to the songs that God pours out through me. I was begging for someone to say, “You are valuable.”
I know I chose these avenues that were substitutes of the kingdom of God. Yet, God’s compassionate heart said, “I’m not offended. I’m not offended that you tried to throw your life away. I’m not offended that you choose fake freedom. I’m not offended that you used your body to feel a trace of value…”
God said, “Honey, I’m not offended. So, don’t carry this offense against you on my behalf.”
That rocked me.
I chose a filter of offense to look back on my life and see where I thought God was offended from his disdain and disapproval of who I was being, but the Lord showed me that its not his nature to be offended by me.
He said, “Honey I want to clean you of that. I want to wash that offense away. You should be a champion for yourself like you are for others. You are never offended by others. Yes, you can be shocked at times, but offended is not you. The power of my grace, mercy, and love covers all your decisions, and transforms them for my glory. The enemy thinks he’s got the past on you, but for I am the only the One that can move through time and space and create life from death. That desperation you once held on to has been released to me. And now, what I give you is an unending, unwaivering hunger for me. For that was the purpose of that space all along. To seek me for companionship, to trust me for community, to be known and loved by me. Although the enemy had room to manipulate and distort that area of your heart, he will no longer. Cause my darling, you are free.”
The Bible says to love like Jesus loved and that story continues today.
In your chapter of the Bible, so to speak, God wants to write stories of how you loved God because God loved you, stories on how you loved yourself because God loved you, and stories of how you loved others because God loved you and loves them. All the while, God gets to thread His heart through its themes of redemption, healing, and miraculous love.
In an age like today, we tend to think, “Okay, this is the worse of human behavior we’ve ever seen.” Let’s break that. People say, “Yeah, but we are filled with 1000 images and connected to a 1000 people everyday.” Offense has been here long before social media. If we lived 100-400 years from now, we’d been living in the same old town with the same old people where everyone knew everyone’s business anyway.
We were born for such a Time as this, and the enemy’s tactics are all the same. However, the creative force of God will always find a way to manifest heaven through earth. Yes, through all creation including you: your past, present, and future.
So yes, this world can be crazy and has its history of it, but that’s not the history of God. That’s the enemy’s story we might of heard, but where’s God’s story?! What’s God’s perspective on this?
“Well I have a hard time knowing what God thinks.”
First, declare outloud “I can hear from Holy Spirit, I can hear from Jesus, and I can hear from Father God.”
Second, try taking a second in your offense, taking a breathe of victory into your lungs, and finding the path of compassion. Ask yourself, “What would compassion do in this situation?” I guarantee you that compassion will always give you access to the Father’s heart, because it’s who He is!
God did not say, “Cast your cares your burdens and your offenses onto other people.” God did not say, “Condemn yourself!” No. God told us to cast them onto Him, because he already paid the price from them on the cross. He said to BE LOVE! To love other’s like you love yourself! That’s gotta be some mega love right there!
Love yourself and other’s like Jesus did and still does through the road of compassion.
Find the light