Have you ever wronged anyone sufficient to hurt their feelings, requiring that they forgive you? Has anyone ever offended you to the point where there is a need for you to forgive them? These are rhetorical questions; questions for which the answers are obvious, questions that are asked to make a point rather than get an answer. Without a doubt, the answer to both questions is yes for anyone who has lived. The point is, if we live in this world offense is unavoidable.
I’m not making this up. Jesus said so in Matthew 18:7 — “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come;”
Why are offenses inevitable?
We are all flawed. No one is perfect. Our imperfections manifest through two means — character flaws and emotional wounds.
Character flaws perpetuate offenses. Character flaws can be manifested in all manner of gross behaviors, such as violent temper, anger outbursts, greed, prejudice, dishonesty, and gossip, to name a few. Alternatively, character flaws can be manifested in mostly innocuous shortcomings or personality defects that affect our motives and social interactions, such as procrastination, poor time management, misaligned values, victim mentality, perfectionism, and nit-picking.
Emotional wounds attract offenses. Emotional wounds are the result of pain inflicted on the inner person of an individual. They are damages to the self-love of a person. The result of untreated emotional wounds is emotional hunger. These are deep-seated emotional needs that drive our behavior from the subconscious. Unmet emotional need can cause a person to attract offenses and can hurt more deeply and longer, making the healing process less likely.
Some characteristics of the emotionally wounded:
More likely to feel like a victim than a person who is emotionally healthy.
Get hurt/offended very easily.
Much more likely to be deeply hurt by almost any infraction against them.
Handle hurt poorly.
More likely feel offended when there is no infraction against them.
Embellish minor infractions and make them bigger issues than they really are.
This topic is covered in detail in chapter 2 of THE HIGH CALL OF FORGIVENESS.
Chapter title is IT’S A STRATEGY.