As long as we live, we have to protect our heart against offenses. Unfair things happen, and people let us down and say things that hurt our feelings. These offenses try to take up residency in our heart, and if they do, they produce resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness. People who have gone through a divorce or lost their career have been hurt deeply. But if they hold on to that hurt, the bitterness and poison become a part of who they are, and they just never move on from that festering pain.
If someone has hurt you, if they've cheated you out of something, if they've walked out of your life, I encourage you to let it go. Drop it. Don't hold on to it. Don't allow it to become a part of who you are. The actions and opinions of others don't define your life unless you let them. As long as you're holding that offense, as long as you can't move past that place of hurt, it is still hurting you. It's not hurting the other person. It's only living inside you and damaging your heart.
Proverbs 17:9 says, "He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love." You have to cover that offense. You have to forgive. It doesn't belong to you. It didn't originate with you. That offense came from that situation. It belongs to that person. It is not yours unless you take it in. It is only yours to forgive and to cover. The Scripture doesn't say that offenses won't come, but it tells us how to deal with an offense—cover it and forgive. The choice is ours. We can either seek and go after love or we can go after the offense.
Think about it for a minute. An offense comes to you. What are you going to do with it? Are you going to draw it into your life? Are you going to think over and over again about what that person said or what they did or didn't do? When you do that, you're saying, "Offense, come on in. Be a part of who I am. Go deep inside." Don't do that. Rather, take a stand and say this: "Listen, I know who I am in Christ Jesus. I will not allow the hurt to get down into my heart. God, in the name of Jesus, I am pushing this offense away. I forgive this person. I release the hurt. I release the pain, and I am free."