The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11 (NKJV)
One should take advantage of the many scenic overlooks that dot the highways while driving through the beautiful mountains of North Carolina to capture the true beauty of the area. These overlooks are strategically placed in order to experience the best views possible. Overlooks are not found at the bottom of the mountain but at elevated peaks in order to view the scene from a higher place.
I find it ironic that another meaning of overlook is, “to fail to see or notice”. Webster’s describes it as to “disregard purposely.”
God tells us to forgive others and overlook their offenses. However, when I am hurt deeply, this can be very difficult. This kind of forgiveness is not natural to me. Instead of overlooking offenses, I find myself grabbing them tightly and examining them with a close and critical eye. Then I take the offense and beat myself up with it over and over again.
No wonder God tells us to overlook the offense of others. He knows if we grab it, we are going to hurt ourselves with it. Unity and love are so important to Jesus, He prayed for love and unity for all believers right before He went to the cross. He paid for my offenses and your offenses there. His love paid my debt and He forgave. He expects us to forgive others with the same love.
Offenses will come. In Sylvia Gunter’s Living In His Presence she explains,
Those closest to us hurt us most deeply because we have given them a part of ourselves. They take it and may fall short of our expectations and may not prove trustworthy. Perhaps someone has betrayed your trust in a particularly painful way. No matter how that person has failed, rejected, offended, or betrayed you, God can come in and restore in greater measure, if we will let Him. They may have taken something from you, but God wants to restore in greater measure.
By faith forgive, release it to Him, and look to Him to fill the gaping hole in your heart with Himself. Perhaps the two different definitions of “overlook” aren’t as different as I first thought. I’m invited to take God’s hand and go to a higher place to overlook the offenses of others.
Read the parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35. Make a list of people who have wronged or hurt you with abandonment, rejection, betrayal, abuse or have sinned against you in any way. Allow Him to search your heart for any offenses you have committed. In view of His forgiveness, ask Him for His help to forgive and heal your heart. Release and let go of these offenses, both yours and those committed against you and leave them at the foot of the cross.
Lord, I thank You for going to the cross for me. Help me to forgive others just as You have forgiven me. Help me to release the hurt and bitterness into Your hands. I invite You to come, heal, and fill the gaping hole in my heart. Help me to go to a higher place with You, forgive and overlook the offenses of others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.