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I realize unforgiveness is something that you must diligently work on getting out of your heart, but it is a life or death decision. Do you want to be held back all of your life? Or do you want to be the success that God has designed for you to be?
Harboring unforgiveness in our lives can not only stop our progress in the things of God, but it can delay God's perfect plan for our lives.

You can literally wind up wasting years of your life simply because of an offense toward someone that you never released. We see this taking place in the life of Absalom.

In 2 Samuel 13, David's son, Amnon, committed a wicked and evil crime against his half sister Tamar (Absalom's sister). He pretended to be sick and asked his father to send Tamar in to feed him and take care of him.

He sent the servants away, and he defiled her. He molested her. He had destroyed her life forever. She would never be able to hold her head up in public without feeling shame.

Because of Absalom's compassion for his sister, he took her in to his home to take care of her. I can just imagine Tamar, if she was like any average woman, crying miserably day in and day out over this devastation in her life.

Her life was deplorable, wretched, and worthless. A life lived in despair. She had been severely violated. The more she wept over the situation, the more it ate Absalom up on the inside. This was somewhat understandable, right? Well, notice what the effect of an offense had on Absalom's life.

This hatred for Amnon grew so strong in Absalom that he thought certainly his father, King David, would feel the same. However, although David was infuriated, he did absolutely nothing about it. This enraged Absalom to the point that bitterness began to overtake his life. Revenge was all he thought about day and night.

You know the story. He asked his father if he could have all his brothers come to a party at his home and he threw a party for all the King's sons and plotted where he would have his brother, Amnon, killed the night of the party. The Bible says that he had Amnon killed. His revenge was carried out, but then he had to flee for his life. He fled to Gesher where he stayed for three years.

Notice Absalom walks around for two years with this bitterness, this hatred, this offense in his heart planning to murder Amnon. Then for three years he was in exile running. That's five years of his life literally consumed with a spirit of offense.

Joab tried to persuade King David to let Absalom come back home, but David still denied Joab's request to meet with Absalom in person. The Word says that two more years went by before David finally agreed to let Absalom come home and be restored as his son again. So, seven years went by. Seven years lived in torment.

Absalom's life was eaten up and consumed with revenge. His life was consumed with bitterness and hatred. Seven years were wasted with nothing to be proud of - no accomplishments.

Putting on a Facade
The offense in Absalom's heart grew stronger and deeper. 2 Samuel 13:22 says, "...Absalom spake unto to his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon..." (2 Sam. 13:22).

In other words, Amnon couldn't tell what he was thinking. He put on a facade. He had the appearance of someone that you would like. Absalom was good at cover-ups.

In the end, Absalom tried to overthrow his father's kingdom with an army made up of discontented, bitter, unhappy men. The Word says that King David had to flee Jerusalem for his life. While pursuing David, Absalom was killed.

Even with his own son chasing to kill him, David still had a heart like God and ordered that no one harm his son. He would not allow a spirit of offense to come in his heart even though he had ample opportunity to do so.

On the other hand, Absalom, as a young man, was killed because of the offense that he allowed to grow and consume his life. He refused to release it, and ended up corrupt.

Many of us have been hurt, offended and even violated like the story mentioned, but you cannot allow a spirit of offense to ruin your life and your destiny.

I realize it is something that you must diligently work on getting out of your heart, but it is a life or death decision. Do you want to be held back all of your life? Or do you want to be the success that God has designed for you to be? You, and only you, make the decision.

Source: Conquering The Spirit Of Offense by Carolyn Savelle
Excerpt permission granted by Jerry Savelle Publications

Author Biography

Carolyn Savelle
Web site: Jerry Savelle Ministries International
 
Carolyn Savelle, wife of minister and author Jerry Savelle, is a highly anointed teacher of the Word of God.
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