One of the most difficult things to learn in this life is not letting offense, generally rooted in hurt feelings, ruin relationships with people. Until we truly know and understand that we are defined only by our Heavenly Father through the eternal blood of Jesus Christ, we remain vulnerable to hurt and offense. Every individual must truly arrive at the point in life where they are not defined by their parents (although godly parents will move mountains to speak the truth of the Word of the Lord over their children, regardless of age), by their siblings, peers, looks or weight, by their spouse (although godly husbands will always define and encouragement their wives according to His Word and a Proverbs 31 lens), by in-laws, by their children, by their giftings, callings, skills, job, school, or ministries, by the clothes they wear, the neighborhood or town they live in, the friends they hang with, the church they go to, by any tradition or the way it’s always been done, and the list goes on and on and on.

Our Heavenly Father loves us so deeply, and so desires for us to see ourselves as He sees us through Jesus’ sacrifice, that He will go to great lengths to allow us opportunities to pass this ultimate and critical test over and over and over and over. He is searching for sons and daughters who so profoundly and experientially understand their identiy in Him, that regardless of the depth of the hurt, the pain or offense, and regardless of the relationship from whom it surfaced, there will always be grace, mercy, compassion and forgiveness, because that’s exactly what He has extended to us through His love in Christ. If we are to truly be a reflection of Heaven on Earth, this issue is non-negotiable.

I wish I could say I was a quick study in this department, but I’m not. I’ve had multiple opportunites to flunk, learn, and pass this lesson with friends, churches, ministries, extended family, and with my own children. Father God loves us so infinitely much that He refuses to allow any of these people, passions or things, regardless how closely knit we are, to define us in any way, shape or form. Until we absolutely understand this truth, we will experience hurt and offense at deeper and deeper levels until the very last root of this dimension of our humanity is exposed and plucked once and for all. 

Thank You, Lord, for loving us that much. Thank You, Jesus, that there was no greater hurt or offense than to be rejected by the very people You were sent to save. You truly understand and You forgave. You overcame, and so must we. Thank You for bringing us to a place of unoffendability, regardless of the depth of the hurt, allowing us the opportunities to extend forgiveness and grace, becoming a truer reflection of who You are in us, while preparing us to be trustworthy with more of what matters most to You: people. It’s all about relationships. It always has been and it always will be: with You and with one another – loving You and loving others.

In that place Lord, You have give me a passion to see a generation raised up to do what you created us to to do: worship You, our Creator, our Father, our Savior and Friend, through the very act of living 24/7 in intimate relationship with You, and that relationship flowing outward to others You bring across our paths on a daily basis. The only way to do that is through a life of thanksgiving. Make a way through Your grace, Your creativity and Your purposes for my life to reach the very youngest of saints around the world with the identity in Christ You have made available to all. Here I am, Lord, send me.

Thanks for being the best Teacher ever!