Grace is an essential component to any healthy relationship. The best way to handle an offense is simply to ignore it. This is a mark of wisdom and maturity. Solomon told us this in Proverbs 19:11. He said, “Good sense makes one 24 valorslow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” The idea of ‘glory’ makes me think of heroic, victorious living. This kind of bravery is essential for every relationship but none more so than marriage. A grandmother, celebrating her golden wedding anniversary, once told the secret of her long and happy marriage. “On my wedding day I decided to make a list of ten of my husband’s faults for which, for the sake of our marriage, I would overlook,” she said. A guest asked the woman what some of the faults she had chosen to overlook were. The grandmother replied, “To tell you the truth, my dear, I never did get around to listing them. But whenever my husband did something that made me hopping mad, I would say to myself, ‘Lucky for him that’s one of the ten.’”

In Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 Solomon takes this principle a step further by explaining the rationale behind it. He says, “Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.” This subject has been the topic of Jesus’ teaching as well. He warned us about judging others lest we be judged. He emphasized the foolishness of trying to remove specks from our neighbor’s eye while accommodating logs in our own eyes. He even warned us about how our own forgiveness is connected to how we forgive others. In the epistles we are twice exhorted to forgive others as Christ has forgiven us.

I’m sure we can all remember times when we’ve said unkind things about others. This makes us living proof of verse 20 which reminded us that there is not a righteous person on earth who always does good and never sins. Ryken observes, “We all fail to meet God’s standard of perfect speech. So we should be slow to judge other people for not living up to that standard either. If we are wise, we will let our own sinful words remind us not to take what other people say too much to heart, but make allowances for them instead, offering them the same grace that we ourselves need so often.”