Skip to main content

Consider this....not that

What kind of things are you willing to overlook in life? Someone cuts me off in traffic and I tend to just gasp a little, let my blood pressure get back to normal, and then move on. I don't find it necessary to speed up, tail them, and/or flip them a certain finger while shouting expletives my momma would have washed my mouth out for back in the day. Someone eats that last brownie you were counting on having when you settled in to watch your favorite evening show and I tend to get a little bummed because I was 'counting on it', but I don't have a hissy-fit. In all truthfulness, I will probably scour the cupboards and fridge to find an 'alternative' to that chewy, chocolate goodness. We can choose to overlook offenses or we can choose to hold onto them like our last nickel. Which do you choose most of the time? Does the 'severity' of the offense come into question? Let's be truthful here - someone eats your brownie and you can forgive pretty quickly - someone steals your TV and you might just hold onto that one a little longer!

Overlook an offense and bond a friendship; fasten on to a slight and—good-bye, friend! (Proverbs 17:9)

It was Pope John XIII who said we are to 'see everything, overlook a great deal, and correct a little'. I might just confess to getting this backwards once in a while. Yes, I see everything - I choose to overlook a little - and sometimes I find myself 'correcting' a LOT. William James said, "The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." To overlook an offense is certainly the desired response, but how many times do we struggle with that choice? Probably more than we first admit. To overlook an offense doesn't mean we don't notice it - we see it, but we choose not to dwell on it. When we choose to 'consider' that offense over and over again, we are actually allowing small roots to be created that will ultimately bring about the full harvest of bitterness, regret, and mistrust. So, it is pretty important that we learn to 'see all', but not actively allow those things to get into our 'rumination' pathway!

Some of us will protest the idea of overlooking an offense because we think we were wronged. Let me just take a moment to remind us of the value of not 'regarding' the offense as intentional. I think this is my first reaction to an offense most of the time now. I ask myself if that individual actually intended to hurt me by getting over quickly into my lane, maybe a little closer to my front end than I might have wanted. It is not likely they intended me harm - they just needed to get off at the next exit! I might choose to overlook - to not consider - the quick reply that seemed a little clipped and harsh. I consider where that person is at that moment - are they tired, is their blood glucose low, have they lost sleep because they are concerned over matters that are closing in? God asks us to consider the 'best' in an individual, not the worst. 

I have listened as individuals tell me of an offense and my mind goes to the place of asking how on earth they latched onto that offense of the other and how much time they have spent 'considering' that offense. In truth, I wonder how much of their lives they have wasted 'considering' over and over the offense they have latched onto and made out to be so 'great' in their own minds. Harvey Mackay tells us, "Every morning brings new potential, but if you dwell on the misfortunes of the day before, you tend to overlook tremendous opportunities." Mackay is a businessman, so it is likely he was referencing those potential business opportunities, but take this a little further. If we dwell on the 'misfortunes' within relationships, considering them over and over again, we are likely overlooking the opportunities that come when forgiveness is extended in place of that grudge. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce