Inspiration

A Tender Heart and a Tough Hide

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV).

In yesterday’s devotional, I wrote that we need to look at the pain behind the behavior of people who need extra grace. We learned that hurt people hurt people.

We can’t stop there, though. We must also refuse to be offended. Your emotional and spiritual maturity is largely measured by how you treat people who mistreat you. Do you try to get even when somebody does you wrong? If they hit you, do you hit back? If they insult you, do you insult back? If you do, then you are no better than they are.

The Bible says, “Watch your words and hold your tongue; you’ll save yourself a lot of grief” (Proverbs 21:23 MSG). When it comes to personal relationships, God says, “Don’t be so easily offended. Learn to get over it.”

You need to pray, “God, give me a tender heart and a tough hide.” Most of us are just the opposite. We’re thin-skinned and tough-hearted. When somebody looks cross-eyed at you on the freeway, somebody cuts you off, or somebody is rude to you, don’t let it bother you. Don’t get upset about it. You know that person is just having a tough day. You need to get thicker skin.

The Bible says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV). When you understand people’s background and their current condition, it’s easier to show mercy.

Your wisdom gives you patience to overlook their offense.

Talk It Over

  • How does understanding a person’s back-story help you not take offense as easily?
  • What does the Bible mean when it says, “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense” (Proverbs 19:11 NIV).

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