“A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle.” (Proverbs 18:19)
How true that is! Unfortunately, I well remember a particular time when I was the offended one. I won’t go into all the details but the bare bones version is that I was very excited to be visiting my friend whom I had not seen in several months and who lived in another city.
As I drove to her house I went over in my mind all the catching up we had to do and some of the exciting things I had to tell her. I arrived and we settled down with tea and a long conversation. But something went amiss. There was a huge misunderstanding and she deeply wounded me in a way she could not understand and that I could not explain. All my “bars” went up and I closed her off.
I made it through the visit but back home I really didn’t want to continue to be friends. Still, we had been friends for a long time and had gone through many things together. Why couldn’t I get over this and just go on?
Months went by and it was no fun. I didn’t feel peace or joy sitting behind bars of “offense.” So finally I humbled myself and called my friend. I took responsibility for the misunderstanding; I still remember vividly how hard that was. But the freedom and sweet relief was worth it after all. It will be for you too – if you are sitting behind any bars!