July 13th, 2015

In general, would you consider yourself an easily offended person? Consider the statement below that is closest to how you think others would describe you.

  • Most things roll off my back, and I don’t take things personally very often. 
  • When someone says or does something hurtful to me, I initially get pretty upset. But I try not to make assumptions about motives and I give the person the benefit of the doubt. 
  • Often I read things into people’s facial expressions, body language and comments that I find offensive. I don’t say anything to them personally, but later I discuss it with someone who is close to me. 
  • People walk on eggshells around me because they know I can be offended pretty easily, and I will let them know about it, too! 

Christ modeled perfect forgiveness for us in life and in death. In Luke 23:34 we find his response to those who beat, mocked, unjustly accused, and tortured him: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Imagine taking that posture in the very moment someone is hurting you. As you process the hurt in your life right now, the key to freedom from bitterness comes as you embrace God’s complete forgiveness for you. This will help to color how you view even those who have done evil things that have impacted your life dramatically.

Although Joseph did not know the gospel of Christ, he knew of God’s desire to rescue his people through the stories of Noah, Abraham, his grandfather Isaac and his father Jacob. He trusted by faith in the amount of revelation that he had received. We have an even fuller understanding of God’s grace and salvation. Our God sent his own Son to die on our behalf. He held nothing back to atone for our sins and erase the debt that we could never repay. He washed our sins away completely.

How does realizing God’s grace toward you help you to move toward forgiving those who have hurt you? By focusing on truth and gaining perspective on the offenses of others in light of the offenses God has forgiven us, we can forgive as we’ve been forgiven.

How can you move toward being a less offendable person in your marriage, friendships, and work relationships?

Melissa Spoelstra is a popular Bible teacher, conference speaker and writer. She is the author of "Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World" and "Joseph: The Journey to Forgiveness." Melissa blogs at

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