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Seeing The Bigger Picture

Have you ever found yourself getting offended and reacting like Jack from the story? Just like David in 1 Samuel 25:13, who was provoked by Nabal's response, we can also easily become offended when we were just trying to do the right thing and people respond in a way we didn't expect.

One of the problems with offense is that it can poison our vision. When we are offended, all we can see is the offense. Just like David who said, "Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good" (1 Samuel 25:21). Offended people often find it hard to move past the offense and get stuck in a cycle of bitterness and resentment. We may become so consumed by the offense that we are unable to see the bigger picture and the potential for growth and unity.

Offense can also poison our relationships. Just like Ahab's wife Jezebel who fueled Ahab's offense against Naboth, causing him to seek revenge (1 Kings 21:5-6). When we are offended, we may try to rally others to our cause, seeking validation and support for our feelings of offense. This can lead to division, conflict, and broken relationships, both personally and within our communities. Instead of embracing unity and collaboration, offense can drive a wedge between us and others, hindering progress and growth.

So, how can we overcome offense and see the bigger picture? Here are some key principles:

  1. Choose to respond, not react: When we encounter offense, our first instinct may be to react in anger or retaliation. However, it's important to take a step back, pause, and choose to respond in a wise and measured manner. This may involve taking time to process our emotions, seeking counsel from trusted friends or mentors, and considering the bigger picture before taking action.

  2. Practice empathy and forgiveness: Try to see things from the other person's perspective and practice empathy. This doesn't mean condoning or excusing their behavior, but rather understanding their motivations and emotions. It can also be helpful to practice forgiveness, both for ourselves and for others, in order to release the burden of offense and move towards healing and reconciliation.

  3. Keep the bigger picture in mind: When we are offended, it's easy to get caught up in the details of the offense and lose sight of the bigger picture. Remind yourself of the greater purpose or goal of the situation or project, and how holding onto offense may hinder progress towards that goal. Embrace a mindset of unity, collaboration, and community benefit.

  4. Seek unity and common ground: Instead of focusing on differences and disagreements, try to find common ground and areas of agreement. Look for opportunities to work together towards a shared goal, rather than letting offense drive a wedge between you and others. Remember that unity and collaboration can lead to greater success and growth for everyone involved.

In conclusion, offense is something that we all experience, but how we respond to it can greatly impact our lives and relationships. By choosing to respond rather than react, practicing empathy and forgiveness, keeping the bigger picture in mind, and seeking unity and common ground, we can overcome offense and embrace a mindset of growth, collaboration, and unity. Just like David, let us strive to see the bigger picture and not let offense hinder our progress towards a brighter future.

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