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  • Henry Omotayo

Can You Overlook That?

Proverbs 19:11

Message No. 0624 | Twitter @GodandUs |

I was in an aircraft on a night flight years ago. The aircraft had taken off and the seat belt sign turned off. The crew was serving food and I had been served and settled in to eat when I suddenly heard a loud scream in the row in front of me. The guy screamed ‘Hellooo’ and I lifted my head to see what emergency we would have to deal with, only to observe that he was screaming to call the crew who had served food to his row but met him sleeping and did not want to wake him up. He suddenly woke up and, finding the food trolley a few rows behind him, thought that he had been skipped, and not being able to let go of the food, he shouted loud enough for the crew to come back and serve him.

The tolerance level of each person is different. Some are able to tolerate what others could never let go, while others are able to let go what some won’t overlook. Tolerance levels are developed from orientation (based on norms the person learned while growing up) and some are a result of innate characteristics, like pride and anger. Unfortunately, the wider societies where we live judge behaviors in certain ways and people who are outliers are easily spotted and sometimes shamed.

Not only does the society judge people according to its values, the Bible also has established norms for behavior. In Proverbs chapter 19 verse 11, the Bible says:

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.

Relationships are built on trust, and when one person disappoints another, it is often hurtful, but a relationship where no one hurts another does not exist on our current planet. One thing is sure: the person who is hurt must have hurt others in the past, and the person who hurt must have been hurt in the past as well. Human beings are all fallible, and what makes one a good person is the degree of fallibility of that person. If you are less flawed than most people, then you are good. You are unlikely to find a perfect person, B.C., and A.D.

Most marriages I know have two different people: a man and a woman. The man better not think that his wife will be a man, and the women better not expect her husband to be a woman. The God who made the two made them differently, not only physically, but also in non-physical characteristics. It is common for one gender to want to sit down and watch sports on television, while the other might be interested in going out to the shopping mall. One might want to spend money on cars and electronics, while the other might want to spend it on clothes and jewelries. If there are no excesses (anything in excess is not advised), then these characteristics should not be seen by the opposite gender as flaws.

When a marriage breaks down, one common reason that we hear is ‘unreconcilable differences.’ What we fail to understand is that our differences won’t go away, but the Holy Spirit who joined two people together knows how to make the two to become one, if only we all drop our swords and let Him rule our homes. The big problems come when we cannot control our temper and cannot overlook the wrongs or mistakes or innate characteristics of our spouses. When all we do is hold onto this status, the Bible in Proverbs 19:11 says we are not sensible.

We all work in offices or have some business relationships and most of us cope very well with the differences we have with our colleagues. The question is, why can’t we extend the same level of understanding to our spouses at home? Why do we have to scream all the time, like my fellow passenger in the aircraft? Why can’t we just try to overlook certain things, because the only address where anyone could live peacefully without someone offending him or her is Number 1, Cemetery Street. Live anywhere else and you must expect offences.

Are you so angry that you’re not able to tolerate the people around you anymore? Please take a pen and list what you’re angry about and make efforts to address them with the people who are causing the offence. At the same time, please be open to what you may be doing to offend other people as well. At the end of the day, we need to tolerate one another and find good ways of addressing issues. It is vital for us to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to increase our capacities to overlook wrongs, especially if our lives are not in danger. I pray that our God will help every child of His going forward, in Jesus’ name. Amen. Have a blessed week!

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 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!
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