Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
How often do you find yourself getting angry? Does it happen a little too easily…a little too often? If you spend any time on social media you know how heated that can be, and especially so when it comes to politics. But what about in “real life”? Do you get angry at your spouse? Your kids? Your co-workers? How hard is it for you to overlook and offense…to just let it go?
Self-control is a fruit of the spirit and a benchmark when it comes to spiritual maturity. Patience, being slow to anger, and self-control are incredibly important virtues to possess as a Christian and also make our walk with Christ more attractive (or intriguing) to a watching world. Our responses, especially when angered or offended, are to be reasonable and measured. We should increasingly grow in our ability to control ourselves when angry and overlook offenses when we can.
Additionally, it is important to understand that anger in and of itself is not wrong but rather how we express it (Jas. 1:19-20). Our anger may be justified, but it will never lead anyone to be more righteous, and so it must be controlled. Offenses do come, and there are times when anger is called for, but anger should not be our first response unless in cases of severe injustice like rape, child abuse, physical abuse, and abortion…just to name a few.
Finally, God considers it a “glory” to overlook an offense. In other words, overlooking a wrong done to oneself is a sign of maturity and grace. Forgiving others is worthy of respect. It is a triumph for us to forgive and to take no notice of injuries and offenses. Jesus taught, “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them” (Lk. 17:3–4). Of course, God has forgiven our sins, for Christ’s sake; for us to forgive others, for Christ’s sake, is a glorious thing, too!