When somebody offends us, the first thing we do is run to a friend or our spouse and tell them all about it.
When doing this, the person that you tell tends to take on the offense as well, feeling just as much offended as you did, because they love you and care for you.
There is a danger in this for the person you confided in.
When a person sins against you there is grace from you to forgiven them, but there is no grace for the one who takes on the offense from their friend or loved one.
How many have told a parent about what your friend or spouce had done to hurt you? And how many later regret that decision after having forgiven the offense but the parent does not, and holds onto bitter feelings about the incident?
We know not forgiving opens the door for Satan and so it does with second party offenses.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11, “Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
Paul realized that holding unforgiveness as a second party to an offense gives Satan a place and says “if”I have forgiven anything, indicating that he does not take on second party offenses.
Then he says, “he did it for their sakes” Why for their sake and not his own?
Because even if you forgive, the person you confided in usually does not and Satan uses that as a means to put division between you and them. E.g. The parent who says why don’t you leave the person?
One sure way to keep Satan from having an open door is to go to Jesus instead. He wants you to tell Him about everything in your life. When you’re hurt and offended, even when you’re angry with Him.
It has been my experience when I go to Jesus first, He encourages me and gives me the grace to forgive the offence and nobody else ever knows about it!
Father, help us to always come to you first and not our friends or family when we are offended, keeping the door to our life shut before Satan! In the name of Jesus, we pray, amen.