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Offended Hearts

An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city.

Proverbs 18:19(a)

I have lost many friends in life. I lost most of them when I was younger due to my many moves from country to country and city to city, but I have lost some friends due to offense. I lost one of my best friends because she offended me, and it is sad that now I don't even remember what she did to offend me.

Looking back, I feel ashamed and sad that I allowed that offense to steal my friendship. I was young and immature and closed my heart to forgiveness. I didn't know better then, but I am grateful that the Lord does not abandon us despite our mistakes. I know now that offenses are gifts we place in our enemy's hands and always bring destruction. An offended heart benefits no one and harms everyone around it.

One of my good friends always reminds people that mature Christians do not have the right to get offended. A mature Christian knows that offense is a sin and that Christ asked us to forgive each other four hundred and ninety times daily. If Jesus is indeed our Lord, we do what He says. Therefore, we should not get offended no matter what others do to us. 

Offense is a temptation, and we can say no to it. We cannot avoid it, for there will always be reasons to get offended, but we can be wronged by others and not sin. We don't have to get offended. Is it easy to do? Of course not, but with God's help, it is not impossible. Salomon compares an offended friend to a fortified city. Our hearts should never be as hard to reach by God's love as a fortified city is to win over. 

My readers, we have no reason to hold on to offenses. If we do, the friend with the most challenging time winning us back is Jesus. An offended heart has no room for Him. Do not let satan steal any more time, joy, health, or peace from you by being offended. Forgive your offenders and open the gates of your heart to God's love and forgiveness. 

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