Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend!
Those who return evil for good will meet their own evil returning. -Proverbs 17:9, 13
The stark contrast in these verses points us to the power that we have in the way that we react to the actions of others. It reminds me of this story from the gospel of Luke:
A woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.Does not this woman melt your heart? Does her repentance not drive you to prayer? Can you read of her tears falling on Jesus' feet and not be moved to tears yourself. Consider Christ's reaction:
I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”Is it possible that we struggle so much in overlooking an offense simply because our love is too small. Could it be that our struggle in returning good for evil is because our hearts cannot love as Christ loves? Perhaps our response to an offense would be different if we really understood the depths of God's forgiveness and love for us?
Open our eyes dear Lord to the depths of your forgiveness and love. Help us to honor you by the way that we love.