Evangelist Billy Graham feels sorry for people who don't abide by James 1:19.
When a reader asked him how to handle people who are quick to take offense, Graham had this response:
"I've always felt sorry for people who think almost anything someone says is meant to hurt or insult them. Not only are they usually wrong, but they seldom have any real friends—which only makes their situation worse. True love, the Bible says, 'is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs' (1 Cor. 13:5).
"It's tempting, of course, simply to avoid someone like this—but is that what God would have you do? During His ministry not everyone welcomed Jesus; some, in fact, were offended at His words (see Mark 6:3). But Jesus didn't shrink back from them or avoid them; in fact, He reached out to them and tried to help them.
"I hope you can do the same with your sister-in-law. I'm not a psychologist, of course, but I've found that people like this often don't think anyone really understands them or loves them. (That's why simply telling them to stop being so sensitive seldom solves anything.) Ask God, therefore, to give you a real love for your sister-in-law—the kind of love that sincerely cares about her and is not put off by her attitude. The Bible says, "A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense" (Prov. 19:11).
"Most of all, pray for her, and ask God to help you point her to Jesus. God loves her; He loves her so much that He sent His Son into the world to give His life for her. Once she understands this great truth, her life will never be the same," Graham said.
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.
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