Just before I started the eleventh chapter of the book, I was thinking about how I am so easily offended, to easily hurt and how much I dislike this about myself.
So when I read this passage from this chapter, it was definitely a God speaking moment.
"Recently I was in turmoil about some things somebody said to me. I lay awake at night, mentally enacting whole scenes and conversations in which we would 'have it out' dragging everything into consciousness, saying everything that was in our minds, pitting what she said against what I said, what she did against what I did, defending and offending, complaining and explaining. I had heard this was what we are supposed to do - get it out, get it up front, express it.
But what a devastating business! What a crashing bore! What a way to consume time, not to mention emotional and spiritual energy! The very process itself gives me the chance to add to my own list of sins against her. 'When men talk to much,' says Proverbs 10:19, 'sin is never far away. Common sense holds its tongue.'
Psychology describes. The Bible prescribes. 'Turn from evil. Let that be the medicine to keep you in health' (Proverbs 3:7-8).
'Love is kind. Love is never quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs. There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance' (1 Corinthians 13:4-5, 7).
'Help one another to carry these heavy loads, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ' (Galatians 6:2).
'Let your bearing toward one another arise out of your life in Christ Jesus...He made himself nothing...humbled himself...accepted death' (Philippians 2:5,7-8).
The woman who had hurt me had plenty of heavy burdens to bear. I knew that very well. How could I help her to bear them? Well, for one thing, by 'being offended without taking offense,' that is, by following my Master.
What a relief! I no longer had to plot and plan and cogitate about how to handle my feelings or how to confront my friend or just what to say. My bearing toward her would arise out of my life in Christ Jesus. I couldn't do it myself. He could, and he would enable me.
To cut to the straight path a good deal of the jungle of my selfishness had to be slashed through. But it was a much shorter way home."