S102P3 – Simmer down now: the temptation of transgression

Pro. 19:11

The discretion of the man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.

House church seemed to be going well.  This small group of brothers and sisters who had become disillusioned with their traditional church decided to do things on their own, and they grew closer together in many ways.  When the usual host went away on a trip, he expected nothing out of the ordinary to occur in his absence.  When he returned, he was told about the whispers of another brother concerning this one’s character and integrity.  Feeling that he had every right to confront his brother regarding this behavior, he hosted church like normal upon his return and had some harsh words with that brother on that Sunday.  What resulted was not contrition and forgiveness but the dissolution of a valuable relationship.

Jesus talks about turning the other cheek to offense.  This is an impossibility for the one who cannot get a handle on his or her anger when offense rears its ugly head.  Sin has a way of presenting itself as something to which we are entitled.  How many times have we heard the phrases you have a right to be angry or I do not blame him for getting mad?  Worldly thinking would tell us that certain circumstances give us license to boil over and lash out in ways that are anything but righteous.  Godly wisdom tells us differently.  What the Father wants us to do is think long and hard about what has caused our anger and how we can address that best.  When transgression against us comes, especially from someone we hold dear, we must understand the spiritual implications of not handling our anger with discretion.

This verse tells us that it is to our glory to overlook a transgression.  No, we do not present ourselves as doormats to be trampled on.  What this means is that we critically evaluate what we experience and ask ourselves whether our response is what God would desire.  We know that sinful behavior is no way to combat sinful behavior.  When someone trespasses against us, we must seek God for the righteous way to combat that and give his kingdom the victory.  To respond to another’s transgression with our own is only to add to the bad fruit of sin.  To respond with humility and deliberation is to be victorious.  Father, help us to exercise discretion, patience, and meekness when others trespass against us.