Victoria Osteen - Protect Your Heart From Offense
You know, as long as we live, we're going to have to guard our hearts from taking in offense. You know, all through our life, people are going to hurt us, unfair things are going to happen, we'll be disappointed, people may say something that's not true. See, these are all the types of offense that we can't allow to take residency in our heart. See, we can't allow those things to become part of our lives. I have seen people who have gone through a difficult divorce, they have been hurt, I've seen people who have been cheated, and it was real, but the difference is, those people never let that situation go. They always brought that situation back into their life, and, you know, these types of offenses, they don't do us any good.
You see, they only bring heartache, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness, see, that's what offense does when it gets into our heart. It produces in our life, that's why we have to make sure that we don't allow what happens to us to get in us. You see, I believe that God wants us to understand that we are secure in him. You know, we talk about identity, we talk about what we identify with. You see, if you identify with your job, and your job goes away, then your identity is gone away. If you identify with a person and they make you important, if that person happens to leave, or that person happens to disappoint you, or say something to hurt you, guess what? Your identity has been crushed.
You see, we are to identify with Jesus Christ. We are to find our security in him. We have to know that he is for us and he's not against us. He's the one that's going to take care of us. When we identify with the wrong thing, and the wrong things happens to us, then guess what? We feel wrong, that's an offense, that's an offense, and I want to encourage us all, if you've ever been hurt, if you've ever been left, if you've ever been cheated, if you've ever been lied on, they're real, and it hurts, but can I encourage every one of us today? Let it go, let it go, don't get stuck in that offense. Don't hold on to it. Don't let it be a part of your identity.
Listen, people can't define your life unless you allow them to. You see, when you hold on to those situations and those offense, you know what you're doing? You're allowing those situations, those unfair things to continue to hurt you. You might not be able to change the situation, it happened, the person, what they said, yeah, they said it, but you know what? If you hold on to it, then the hurt continues. Let it go, get good at letting it go. In fact, what I want to say to us today is, we're going to have to get good at forgiving and covering their offenses, alright? Their offenses, see, let's look at it this way today. The offense is not yours unless you take it. The offense originated from them, so you can either take that offense or you can drop that offense, and you can say, "No, you know what? I'm going to forgive them. I'm going to cover this offense".
Listen to what it says in Proverbs 17:9. It says, "He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love". You see, it's an offense, it didn't say it wasn't going to come, it is an offense. What are you going to do with it? The choice is ours. We can seek to go after love and say, "Uh-uh", forgiveness is powerful, and God's love is more than enough, even when I don't feel like I can love. God has got more love than I could ever use up. Or we can seek the offense. We can talk about it, tell our friends about it, dwell on it, get frustrated, lose sleep, coddle it, snuggle it, "This is my offense".
You see, that's how you draw that in. That's how you make it become a part of who you are and your identity, but what we have to do is, we have to do this, we have to push that offense away from us. We have to say, "No, it's not my offense to take, I'm God's. I've got the power in my life, through the Spirit of God, to forgive, and I can do that, because, you know what? I know who I am in Christ, and I know that God's going to help me do this". Ever since I can remember, my family's been in the Jewelry business, and I've always learned about precious metals, and gemstones, where they came from, but the story of the pearl is very fascinating.
Most of you know that a pearl comes from an oyster, and, you see, that oyster goes through a tremendous process to create and form that pearl. Funny thing is, is that oyster is not trying to create a pearl. What that oyster is doing is trying to protect itself from the irritants, the particles, these splinter-like things that tries to make its way into its shell from the ocean waters, get into its shell, and try to embed itself in the tiny mollusk of the oyster. So, the oyster has something called nacre, it's a substance that comes naturally to the oyster when an invader comes in that it secretes, and it pushes that irritant away from it. So, it pushes and works to secrete the nacre to keep distance between what's trying to harm it, and as a result of it working, and secreting, and covering it with nacre, it forms a precious and beautiful pearl.
You know, offenses in our life are a lot like that irritant in the life of an oyster. Words come, actions come, they're irritants, they can become offenses. You see, we have got to push those out of our heart and into the hands of God. See, God has given us a way to insulate ourself, to put distance between what wants to harm us, and it's the fact that we can decide what we do with it. We can either push it and release the hurts, release the wrongs, or we can bring them into our life, and I just want to encourage every one of us to get good at pushing out, pushing out what would try to harm us. Now, the Bible says this, it says that we are to forgive those who have wronged us. We are to forgive those who persecute us. We are to forgive and pray for those people.
You see, one way to do it is to pray. One way to insulate yourself from that irritant, that offense that's trying to embed itself in your heart is to pray, and every time you pray, and you declare, "God, I forgive that person in the name of Jesus", you know what you're doing? You're secreting the nacre of God's love around that offense. Every time you release that wrong into God's hands, you're secreting more of the nacre of love around that offense. You see, we've got to keep that distance between that offense and our heart. We cannot hold on to offense because God wants to get all these good things to us, and if we're holding on to the wrong, we can't make room for the right. We can't make room for what God wants to do in our heart, so we must choose love, we must choose what we're going to do with that offense.
Listen to what it says in Luke 6:4, it says, "A good man brings forth good things out of the good treasure stored up in his heart". See, that is saying that God wants you to store up the good treasure in your heart. He's saying don't give offense valuable space, because it's bitterness, it's resentment, it's pollutants, it is things that will pollute your life, and nobody wants those things. Because, the truth is, what is in our heart will come out into our life, and many times, the things that we have started in our heart first.
So, we've got to guard our heart. That is what I am saying today, especially in these times when people can say what they want, whenever they want, about what they want, and it doesn't even have to be true. What makes it true is this, if it has power over you. You see, it doesn't have to be true, but if you give that power over you, it might as well be truth. So, listen, I encourage every one of us, be aware of what's trying to get itself in your heart. Push out that offense and cover it with the nacre of God's love, and I believe, and I declare that you will see pearls of wisdom, pearls of freedom, and pearls of abundance being formed in your life, and God will give you everything that you desire, amen? Amen, he's an awesome God.