Don't Be Offended - The Crosswalk Devotional - October 21

Writer and Author
Oct 21, 2022

The Crosswalk Devotional

Don’t be Offended.
By Meg Bucher

“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9 NLT

The tears soaked my sleeve, and I began to seethe. Logically, I understand the human brain isn’t fully developed until sometime in our twenties. But it’s difficult to be logical when someone else’s kid hurts my kid. The older they get, the less accidental it is. I jokingly send momma bear emojis…but the struggle is actually real. The amount of deep breathing I have to employ before I react to a situation I’ve just digested is surreal. The old saying goes, “don’t poke the bear.” When momma bear is engaged, it’s a run-for-your-life situation. And I run …right to God …for my life. 

Hurt people hurt people. It’s a phrase I’ve heard preached from many pulpits and find to be pointedly true. It’s the reason taking a deep breath before we react is so important. Otherwise, momma bear attacks back with more hurt, because she is hurt. We hurt when our kids hurt. It’s painfully hard to separate ourselves from the pain they endure. There is evil in the world. There is hurt, unfairness, sickness, and tragedy. Scripture reminds us what to do before we react: 

1. Don’t repay evil for evil. 

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” - Colossians 3:13 NLT

Unforgiveness damages our hearts. Scripture is clear, take all the deep breaths to calm down. When we exercise enough restraint to pause before reacting, we allow the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to overcome the pit of anger in our stomachs.

2. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. 

“Kind words are like honey- sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” - Proverbs 16:24 NLT

The words we speak are powerful, and so are the motivating thoughts behind them. Though we cannot control every thought that pops into our minds, but we do have control over what we choose to think and how we choose to use our words once they arrive in our minds. It’s important to pause and choose to use our words for good …to build up and not to tear down. 

3. Pay them back with a blessing. 

“So let’s not get tired doing what is right, for at just the right time we will reap harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” - Galatians 6:9 NLT

When my kids were in elementary school, I would reward them with a free choice from our “prize box” for doing the right thing. Eventually, the positive affirmation meant more than the sticker or pencil they picked from the box. Making the right choices is important. The decision to bless those who wrong us isn’t easy, but the reward is great.

4. God will bless our obedience.

“Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” - John 20:29 NLT

The way we live our everyday lives points to the One we follow. God’s blessing isn’t like the family prize box my kids picked from when they were little. We often pray for blessings but are not willing to do the work required to walk in the favor of the Lord. There’s nothing we need to do to earn our salvation or keep it, but the Lord does honor our obedience. It brings glory to Him. 

Intersecting Faith and Life:
Offense is an easy habit to pick up. It’s one the world will applaud and help us to justify. When life is unfair, it’s okay to be righteously angry. But the pause we take before we put our emotions on display is important to God. The pause, and our reaction to bless instead of curse, are behaviors which set us apart from the rest of the world. And we represent the One who is drawing everyone to Himself, giving everyone an opportunity to embrace Jesus as our Savior. We are to lead with love to the One who is Love, Himself. 

Further Reading
James 5:16
Luke 6:37
Ephesians 4:31-32

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Aaron Amat

Meg Bucher 2022 headshotMeg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ. Join her on the journey as she launches her new site Joy Overflowing, or join her longstanding community at Sunny&80. She is also the author of “Friends with Everyone, Friendship within the Love of Christ,” “Surface, Unlocking the Gift of Sensitivity,” “Glory Up, The Everyday Pursuit of Praise,” “Home, Finding Our Identity in Christ,” and "Sent, Faith in Motion (October 2023 release). She earned a Marketing/PR degree from Ashland University but stepped out of the business world to stay home and raise her two daughters …which led her to pursue her writing passion. A contributing writer for Salem Media since 2016, Meg is now thrilled to be a part of the editorial team as the Editor of Always active in her community and the local church, Meg also leads Bible study and serves as a leader for teen girls. 

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