“Love is not irritable or resentful.” 1 Corinthians 13:5 ESV
How easily we are offended in our world today.
If there is something we do not like about another person, we are quick to criticize. If we perceive any hint of insult, we are quick to take offense. If another’s words or actions irritate us, we are quick to express our annoyance. We can be over sensitive, just waiting to be offended. When that offense comes, we jump like a predator hunting his prey.
But the Scriptures counter such impulses. Rather than taking offense, we are told to overlook offenses:
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11 ESV
“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” Proverbs 12:16 NIV
The Lord Jesus Christ showed the way in how to handle offenses:
“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23 NIV
Christians are called to love people with the kind of Christ-like love that is not irritable or resentful. This love is not easily provoked to anger, nor does it hold wrongs against others. Christian love overlooks insults, irritations, and annoyances of others. Love does not file them in a mental record to bring back up later. Christians absorb those offenses which can be overlooked.
Let offenses fall into an ocean of love. As the fourth-century church leader Chrysostom said, “A wrong done against love is like a spark that falls into the sea and is quenched.”