Slights and Offenses: How Do You Handle Them? Author: Marian Beaman

Marian Beaman

“Uh, oh, look here.” Husband Cliff was perusing local news online in our city newspaper. “Here’s a photo of Kitty and Karl Ellison’s house. A big, old live oak fell on their roof yesterday!” I shivered as I glanced at the disturbing sight. Seconds later, I felt a different emotion. Though the nasty news made me feel sorry for the Ellisons, who had just remodeled their home, it also dredged up a grudge I had held against Kitty for over a year now.

 

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Earlier, Kitty was in a position to weigh in on the decision to have Cliff present one of his art & music themes to an organization she was part of. She nixed the idea at a time when the booking would have been most welcome. Ever since, when I saw her socially I felt the sting of the offense. Whatever the excuse may have been: “No money in the budget” . . . “We don’t want to ask attendees for a donation” . . . had sounded lame to me. In short, her decision registered in my heart and mind like a sharp jab.

But a tree had fallen on their house! The horrible event could have made me think, “Serves her right,” she is not a charitable person anyway. But instead, I felt sympathy. A few years earlier, a tree had fallen neatly besideour house, very little damage done. From the looks of things, the Ellisons would have to move out of their house now, live in a hotel for a while, and petition for the insurance company to cover the huge damages. Now it was my turn for an “Uh, oh!”

My “Uh, oh” was followed by a change of heart. Instead of feeling secretly happy at the Ellisons’ bad luck, I wrote a check and sent it to them with a note. It’s wasn’t a large check, but it was an acknowledgement of my empathizing with their situation. As the envelope with the check sailed off through the mail, I felt relief, a huge burden of un-forgiveness lifted.

In return, Kitty sent me a Thank You note, which I‘ve held onto:

 

In retrospect, I am certain the slight I felt was not intentional. And I should not have taken Kitty’s decision personally.

What others say or do often has nothing at all to do with us.

* Names and certain details have been changed.

 

* * *

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
― C. JoyBell C.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was me.”  ~ Lewis B. Smedes

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. . . . Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as sons of God: for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are very wicked.”      Luke 6:35, The Living Bible

 * This blog was first published on https://marianbeaman.com/blog/ on 9/9/20 and has been republished with express permission from the writer and author of Mennonite Daughter https://marianbeaman.com/mennonite-daughter/

 

 

 

 

4 comments

  • We don’t always realize it in the moment, but too often our sinful human nature seems to be on “autopilot” and we react to things in a knee jerk manner. Sometimes, it’s just a fleeting thought; but that thought plants a seed in our souls. As with all seeds, it’ll have to germinate, but will spring forth in one of two ways. It will reveal itself as an ungodly thought (as your post reveals) or as “bad seed” that works to harden our hearts. What a wonderful lesson Dr. Kathy. Thank you for sharing this ma’am.

    J.D. Wininger
  • Marian THis could not have come to me at a better time. Today I was falsly accused of cencorship on a group site which I moderate. I was denigraded, maligned and am deeply hurt as this was all done on social media. Responding in a Christ-like way is my only choice and I know the Lord will resolve all this if I can take the high road instead of trying to build my army.

    Chris Sandstrom
  • Marian! It was a blessing to feature your piece. Yes, forgiveness does set us free from bitterness. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom.

    Katherine Hayes
  • Thanks so much for sharing on your blog, Katherine. As Christ-followers, we are called to forgive. If we’ve been wronged, forgiveness does not excuse the abusive behavior but it does set us free from bitterness.

    Marian Beaman

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