Let mercy triumph over judgment: How to overcome a spirit of offense

How often do we take on a spirit of offense in the name of righteousness or just plain being right? Here’s how one woman adopted a different perspective and began letting mercy triumph over judgment.

{Guest post: For more on this writer, see bio at end.}

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
Prov. 19:11

A few years ago, a close friend told me — as gently as she could — that I had a spirit of offense. I don’t remember how I responded at the time, but through the years, this awareness slowly changed me, finally culminating after a recent month-long trip visiting family.

Through that journey (both physical and spiritual) I realized how often I take on a spirit of offense in the name of righteousness or just plain being right.

Frankly, this trip would normally have been filled with a lot of arguments where I asserted my righteous indignation (or so I would believe) about numerous offenses. But as I traveled with my two little ones first to my sister’s home, then to my brother’s, and then on to my parents’ and Grandma’s and so on, I began to accept each person’s situation for just what it was: their situation.

I reflected on how our own personal wounds shape our perspective on another person’s actions. What’s more, the enemy uses those wounds, speaking lies into them.

I had a recent discussion with a friend whose family is in the medical field and a great analogy surfaced. Picture a deep wound that has gotten gravel, dirt, and bacteria inside the gaping hole. To treat it, the doctor must remove each layer of grime and may even have to cut out the dead skin surrounding that hole because it can cause more damage to the healing process.

Years ago, as I removed one lie after another, I began viewing others with a different perspective. With each lie removed and each piece of dead skin cut out, I was able to view myself differently. I saw my family with so much more grace and appreciation for where they have come from in their own life experiences.

This recent journey showcased several huge truths.

4 truths about adopting a different perspective

1-We need to deal with our own wounds first.

2-Once we deal with our wounds, we are able to rightly see others with mercy instead of judgment.

3-The principalities of darkness are wily and cunning and want us to be stuck in our wounds and cut off from family and friends who will speak truth.

4-Ultimately, God has each in our own place, learning our own thing, and in His own timing.

“For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy;
mercy triumphs over judgment.”

James 2:13

So what should we all do with this?

How to help mercy triumph over judgment

1-Examine our own heart issues.

We do this through prayer and petition and alongside God’s Word. And once we’ve examined and uncovered, we must deal rightly with them.

“For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work …”
(Gal. 6:3-4a, NASB)

2-Discern truth from lies.

On my journey, I discovered more lies than truths — lies that the enemy was speaking to each of my family members (including myself). Only through our own relationship with the Father can we discern what is actually true.

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
(2 Cor. 10:5, NASB)

3-Remember who the real enemy is.

At the end of the day, our struggle is not with people, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness. Let us not keep fighting against our family and friends, insisting on our own ways, but instead open our eyes to recognize the deeds of the enemy.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
(Eph. 6:12, NASB)

4-Encourage others along the journey God has laid out for them.

Let’s replace judgment with coming alongside, making intentional efforts to encourage each other to seek God’s will and desires over our lives.

“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
(Heb. 3:13, NASB)

[clickToTweet tweet=”Let’s replace judgment with coming alongside, and encourage each other in our God-given journeys.” quote=”Let’s replace judgment with coming alongside, and encourage each other in our God-given journeys.”]

About the Guest Writer


Victoria Holderness has been married seven years to an amazing and godly man. They have two little ones at home — a son and a daughter. She also has two beautiful bonus daughters who are married and live out of state. One of her pride and joys is her grandson who lives in Arkansas and she is excitedly expecting one more grandchild in Oklahoma late this year.

Although Victoria has taken a short break to invest in her little ones, she served for many years as women’s ministry leader and worked with young ladies ranging from high school through college. One day, she will step back joyfully into that role.

Editor’s note from Christi: As I prepared this post for publishing, a close friend of both Victoria’s and mine shared a video that illustrates one of Victoria’s points: we just never know what others have been through on their journey.
I rarely stop and watch videos, but I couldn’t take my eyes off of this one. I think it will leave you contemplating what you can do to show mercy today.

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Here’s how one woman adopted a different perspective and began letting mercy triumph over judgment. Christian living, faith-based encouragement, Scripture encouragement, amazing grace.





One response to “Let mercy triumph over judgment: How to overcome a spirit of offense”

  1. Michelle Avatar

    I always enjoy your insight. What a great article, it’s the kind I want to print off and keep in my purse in case I step on someone’s toes. Thank you for being vulnerable.

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