Encouragement for Today 03-24-05


March 24, 2005

Encouragement for Today


The Overlook

Author – Ramona Davis, Member of Proverbs31 Speaker Team


Key Verse:


The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. Proverbs 19:11 (NKJV)




One should take advantage of the many scenic overlooks that dot the highways while driving through the beautiful mountains of North Carolina to capture the true beauty of the area. These overlooks are strategically placed in order to experience the best views possible. Overlooks are not found at the bottom of the mountain but at elevated peaks in order to view the scene from a higher place.


I find it ironic that another meaning of overlook is to fail to see or notice. Webster’s Dictionary describes it as to “disregard purposely”.


God tells us to forgive others and overlook their offenses. However, when I am hurt deeply, this can be very difficult. This kind of forgiveness is not natural to me. Instead of overlooking offenses, I find myself grabbing them tightly and examining them with a close and critical eye. Then, I take the offense and beat myself up with it repeatedly.


No wonder God tells us to overlook the offense of others. He knows if we grab it, we are going to hurt ourselves with it.  Unity and love are so important to Jesus, He prayed for love and unity for all believers, right before He went to the cross. He paid for my offenses and your offenses there. His love paid my debt and He forgave. He expects us to forgive others with the same love.


Offenses will come. In Sylvia Gunter’s Living In His Presence, she explains, “Those closest to us hurt us most deeply because we have given them a part of ourselves. They take it and may fall short of our expectations and may not prove trustworthy. Perhaps someone has betrayed your trust in a particularly painful way. No matter how that person has failed, rejected, offended, or betrayed you, God can come in and restore in greater measure, if we will let Him. They may have taken something from you, but God wants to restore in greater measure.” By faith forgive, release it to Him, and look to Him to fill the gaping hole in your heart with Himself.


Perhaps the two different definitions of “overlook” are not as different as I first thought. I am invited to take God’s Hand and go to a higher place to overlook the offenses of others.


My prayer for today:


Lord, I thank You for going to the cross for me. Help me to forgive others just as You have forgiven me. Help me to release the hurt and bitterness into Your hands. I invite You to come, heal, and fill the gaping hole in my heart. Help me to go to a higher place with You and overlook the offenses of others. Amen


Application Steps:


Read the Parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35. Make a list of people who have wronged or hurt you with abandonment, rejection, betrayal, and abuse or have sinned against you in any way. Now ask Jesus to heal your heart and ask for His help to forgive from your heart. Release and let go of these offenses and leave them at the Cross.


Reflection Points:


Reflect on the fact that your heart is the dwelling place for Jesus. Is there any “room” in your heart that you have not given Him complete access to? Perhaps there is a deep hurt locked away in a secret room. He wants you to open the door and allow Him to pour His light of Truth and healing. Take time to be with Him today and do whatever it takes to allow Him entrance. He longs to hold you close, comfort and heal the wound in your heart.


Power Verses:


Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31,32 (NKJV)


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 (NIV)


Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12,13 (NIV)


Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21,22 (NIV)


Additional Resources:


P31 Woman Magazine by Proverbs 31 Ministries



The Ultimate Makeover by Sharon Jaynes





Originally published Thursday, 24 March 2005.