When living near Grenoble we were at the base of the French Alps. In fact we were surrounded by several different mountain chains. Pictured here is La Dent de Crolles. One can see why they named it a tooth. It looks just like a molar.
There is a saying in French that makes me smile. The idea of holding a grudge is expressed as “avoir une dent” or “to have a tooth” against someone. It is a very old expression but still currently in use. The teeth are thought to be a symbol of aggression and biting. We have the same idea in English when we “fight tooth and nail” or an animal “bares his teeth.”
Our verse for today teaches that it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense. Doing so is the exact opposite of holding a grudge. It is not a natural behavior for me though. More often, I remember an offense, even those that have happened years ago. I am not proud of that fact. If I continue to remember an offense, I am surely not overlooking it. And if I am remembering it, then I am likely to hold a grudge. There is certainly no glory in that.
Overlooking an offense is a very gracious behavior. There are times I offend others and I am grateful when that person lets it go. When I understand that grace has been extended to me, then I can more easily extend grace to others. Even so, I need the power of the Spirit to overlook and forgive.
I am forever grateful that Jesus does not hold a grudge, or where would I be?