The Glory of Overlooking Offenses

There are certain verses in the book of Proverbs that catch my attention and convict my heart every time I read them. One of those is Proverbs 19:11.

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

This always convicts me because not only am I quick tempered, but I find myself looking for offenses instead of overlooking them. What kind of offenses should I be overlooking?

  • When someone pulls out in front of me
  • When someone wears/doesn’t wear a mask
  • When someone does/doesn’t observe 6 foot distancing in public
  • When my husband leaves a buttery knife on the side of the sink and toast crumbs all over the counter
  • When a family member doesn’t respond to something the way I wanted them to respond
  • When a store won’t let me return merchandise for one reason or another

Those are all real things that get me all kinds of irritated. (I’m purposefully not taking a public position on whether you should or shouldn’t wear a mask, but know I have a strong opinion on one side of the issue. I have strong opinions about almost everything in life. Ha!)

Proverbs also says this:

A wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain. (Proverbs 27:15)

This verse, to me, isn’t just talking about arguing one on one with someone. I think it also means that when I come home and go on and on about those things I mentioned above, it’s like an annoying leaky faucet. Drip. Drop. Drip. Drop.

In my family, we call that “Being the Drip-Drop Lady.” Years ago one of my parents accidentally backed into the neighbor’s car as she was also backing out of her driveway. My parents were very gracious and did their part to cover the damage and make amends, but she never forgave them. Years later if we waved or smiled at her, she would dramatically turn her head and ignore us. She was a “Drip-Drop Lady,” clinging to an offense instead of overlooking it.

I like the way Proverbs 19:11 is translated in the New Living Translation: Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

These days I think we try to earn respect by taking our stand and pointing out wrongs. It’s easy to think that doing so is the right way, because it feels good to our wicked hearts. That’s why it is so, so important to fill our minds and hearts with the truth of God’s Word. We earn respect by overlooking those offenses that we are so easily tempted to hang on to and to point out to others.

I definitely have the tendency to become a card carrying “Drip-Drop Lady.” I’m no less prone to it than our neighbor. That’s why I’m so thankful for God’s grace. It’s available for me, and it’s available for you!

Here are some practical ways to overlook offenses:

  • Make sure that you’re filled with God’s Word each day, so that when you’re “bumped,” God’s Word spills out of you.
  • Determine not to repeat or rehash a situation after it occurs. Take your burden (offense) to the Lord and leave it there.
  • Refuse to engage in or comment on controversial social media posts.
  • When someone offends you, picture yourself standing next to them at the cross. When we stand there, we are all equally in need of God’s grace and mercy.
  • Focus on the things you appreciate and love about your spouse, your children and your extended family.

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12 thoughts on “The Glory of Overlooking Offenses

  1. This is an area that I have often gotten stuck on in the past. Some really spiritual and practical thoughts you’ve shared here! I’ve read each and every post of yours from the beginning (I always do that when I find a blog I love!); this is the 1st time I’ve commented. I’ve shared on my FB page, as well. Saving this to re-read.


  2. Whitney this post really spoke to my heart today! The line you wrote: “We earn respect by overlooking those offenses that we are so easily tempted to hang on to and to point out to others.” This is something I really need to work on in my life! I need to be less ready to see someone else’s mistakes and be the “Drip Drop Lady” about it to my husband (or anyone else)! Thank you for this today, so inspiring!


  3. Oh ouch! You really ruffled my feathers there with some of those offenses! Although no buttery knives around here, some of those other ones….(breath deep.) And, yes, I pretty much have a “solid” opinion on many things. Great ideas and advice for overlooking (rather than looking for) offenses – and not being a drip-drop lady. Oh my!!


  4. Very timely post for me. I was brought to my knees before the Lord today about my drop drop complaints. With God’s help, I need to be more grateful for my hubby. Thank you for sharing honestly. It’s very helpful.


  5. Whitney, I love the way you put it about OVERLOOKING offenses rather than LOOKING for offenses. This is definitely a quote worth remembering and repeating!


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