Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 30 : Go to Offenders | Day 205

Go First to Offenders!

There was no apparent reason why this marriage should have failed. Both sets of parents had given their blessing, the couple was sure that God had led them together, and several wonderful children had been added to the family. Nevertheless, one day the wife told her husband that she wanted to get out of the marriage.

When I heard the wife's grievances, I was puzzled. There didn't seem to be any major offenses, such as moral failure or abuse, and I struggled to understand the source of the problem. Soon, it became apparent. Over the years, the wife had been hurt by "little" offenses from her husband. Rather than discussing the problems with him and clearing them up, she had allowed the offenses to build up and had shared them with her mother. Her mother had taken up an offense for her daughter and was determined to "rescue" her from this unhappy marriage.

Failure to go first to an offender results in whispering, and "a whisperer separateth chief friends” (Proverbs 16:28).

In addition to the potential of tempting others to take up our offenses, failure to go first to an offender can also result in judgments being made and actions being taken based on misinformation. God gave strict instructions to the leaders of the nation of Israel that if the leaders heard that one of their cities had gone after another god, they were to diligently investigate the matter. If the report was found to be true, then they were to completely destroy that city. (See Deuteronomy 13:12-17.)

One day a rumor began that some of the tribes of Israel were building an altar to a false god. The alarmed leaders gathered the rest of the nation together for the purpose of destroying these tribes. However, rather than building an altar to a false god, these tribes were actually building a memorial to the God of Israel so that their children would be reminded of the one true God. (See Joshua 22.) The danger of hasty actions is described in the following Scripture:

“Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame" (Proverbs 25:8).

Telling others about an offense can start verbal "fires" that often get back to the one who committed the offense. However, by this time the story is usually magnified and distorted. Instead of being repentant, the offender becomes angry and bitter that he has been misjudged and feels justified in his actions.

Several years ago, a person wronged me and I was disinclined to go to him in order to clear things up. Instead, I told a friend what had happened. Fortunately, he was a wise friend and said something to me I will never forget. His words brought conviction and changed the outcome of the entire situation. He said, "Bill, remember that when an offense has taken place, the more spiritual of the two will initiate the reconciliation." He reminded me that God was the One Who took the initiative in reconciling sinners to Himself when He sent His Son to die. Let's endeavor to follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ and make every effort we can to reconcile with others by going to our offenders first.

“… If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone … ” (Matthew 18:15).

Daily Success
Like Twitter Pinterest GooglePlus LinkedIn Forward

Online Resources for Command 30 »

Make sure your Daily Success e-mails always go straight to your inbox by adding dailysuccess@iblp.org to your address book.

You are receiving this e-mail because you are enrolled in Daily Success, a ministry of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). E-mail addresses are never sold or given out to third parties. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Copyright © 2005–2013, Institute in Basic Life Principles. All Rights Reserved.
The Institute in Basic Life Principles is located at 707 West Ogden Ave., Hinsdale, IL 60521.
Contributing writer: Bill Gothard