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When You’ve Caused Offense: A Daily Meditation

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How do you feel when you know you’ve caused offense? We often talk about when others offend us, but it’s a good practice to recognize when our actions or words have unintentionally caused offense to someone else. It’s important to be mindful of how our behavior can impact others and strive to cultivate empathy and understanding in our interactions.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:23-24:  

“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” 

Matthew 5:23-24

When we are told to withhold our gift or sacrifices to God until we reconcile with those in our spiritual family who have an offense against us, it really speaks to the importance of asking for forgiveness from those we have offended. 

Scripture has a lot to say about keeping the peace with our brothers and sisters. Like these:  

Hebrews 13:1: “Let brotherly love continue.” 

Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.” 

First Peter 3:8: “Finally, all of you must live in harmony, be sympathetic, love as brothers, and be compassionate and humble.” 

Jesus took offenses quite seriously. Enough to direct us to lay down everything, even our gifts to God, in order to reconcile with an offended spiritual family member.  

Is there any gift or sacrifice you are making that God is asking you to place on hold until you reconcile with anyone in your spiritual family who has ill against you?  

Today we don’t have official altars we place our offerings on, but we do bring our time, monies, and resources to family, friends, church, organizations, and charities. Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit may reveal an offense we committed in the midst of those good actions. 

Humility and forgiveness are to be our constant course of action.  Guard your heart against any words that hurt others, whether intentionally or not. Keep a clean slate and don’t let offenses linger.


Father, I want to keep short accounts on offenses. Help me to love as You love, to see those who do Your will as my brother, sister, mother, and spiritual family. Holy Spirit, teach me to listen and to hear Your counsel. To live in all ways that please and honor You. To be quick to forgive and to humble myself when I fall short and offend others. 


Now listen to a short segment of this Abide meditation, “When You’ve Caused Offense,” based on Matthew 5:23-24. Let God speak to you more deeply through the full-length meditation, available when you download the Abide app. Use this link for 25% off.


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