See how they lie in wait for me! Fierce men conspire against me for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
- Psalm 59:3
Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
- Proverbs 17:9
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
- Proverbs 19:11
If a ruler’s anger rises against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great offenses to rest.
- Ecclesiastes 10:4
There is one large chain of grocery stores in our area. It is not a monopoly, but I think they think the competition is too weak to compete. I have been “offended” three times in the past six months or so, make that four times. Each time by someone whose ancestry goes back to a particular Asian nation. I will not mention the nation, but the first offense has already been recorded.
I went to a store early in the morning and the checkout clerk’s coffee was more important than working, I used the self-checkout. But she gave me a coupon because she had never seen what happens. I swiped the coupon at the wrong time, and then immediately she claimed that I was shoplifting. I had to recheck everything in my cart, luckily nothing frozen. All the time, she made loud protests that I had placed something in a bag that had not been scanned. No, the coupon she gave me had created an error. I had not pilfered from the grocery store.
I went back to the store, but I did not use her for a checkout. While checking out next to her register, she left her register to check my cart and instruct the other checkout where people hide things that they wish to steal. I did not hate her. I pitied her. She went through life seeing everyone as someone to not trust.
But our local grocery store is from the same group of stores. But since it is remote in a small town, the produce is never fresh, the bread sometimes stale, and there might be a few more dinted cans. We only go there when it is something like milk or chancing it on the bread.
Once about six weeks ago, I was doing laundry and I had worn sweatpants. I never go out in sweatpants, but I thought I only was going to the laundromat to dry the clothes. My wife asked me to get something she had forgotten as an ingredient in the evening meal. I did so. A bagger two aisles over pointed at me and laughed. She jabbered with the checkout and the checkout laughed also. She was a teenager, but her parents were probably from the same country I did not mention earlier. She got the attention of the express lane checkout laughing and pointing at me. I never knew what was funny.
Then yesterday, as of writing this, I was nicely dressed. My wife needed milk. I got a couple of extra items that I knew she would like, one was a symbol of my love for her. When she checks out, she buys me a 3 Musketeer bar. When I check out, I buy her a Snickers bar. It may be double the price on the impulse aisle, but it says to the spouse, I love you.
Again, it was a bagger, probably the mother of the teen above. I was at the express lane. The bagger said, with me right there able to hear, “What a stupid idiot, buying a candy bar for 99 cents!” The cashier did not respond. I paid for my stuff and walked out.
I have heard that Christians should not be offended.
No! We should be offended.
But the Scriptures are instructive. What do we do as a result of the offense? Do we do like the secular people do? Cancel the other person? Ghost the other person? Raise a stink in the store until that person is fired?
No, we smile. We pay for the items we have purchased. We say something like “God bless you.” And then we pray for that soul that is lost in a wilderness of distrust, bigotry, and hate.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.