Conflict Resolution: Overlook or Fight

Reading Level: Leisurely

One part of conflict resolution is knowing which battles to fight.

There are times when you need to defend or protect yourself over a certain right that is being violated, especially if it is repeatedly by the same individual. If the violation is actually something harmful to your life or a hindrance to your goals, it is probably worth being addressed. However, there are so many irritations or offenses that take place in a day or a week which are isolated instances that do not have any long term affect on your life. Often, it is more to your benefit to overlook these type of offenses than make an issue to “resolve” them or fight for your rights.

When it comes to offenses or irritations that are better overlooked, the ability to choose to overlook the offense can increase your character and bring great satisfaction.

Proverbs 19:11 says, “It is to a man’s glory to overlook an offense.” In other words, it proves you have a higher level of character when you are strong enough to choose to ignore an isolated offense of limited impact, realizing that it is not worth your time and energy to “fight” in that situation.

I did a word study of this quote in 2 different English translations as well as in the original Hebrew. The additional definitions provide extra clarity to the “glory” of overlooking an offense.

Here are the two English translations:

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. (NIV)
The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. (NKJV)

Next, I’ll insert the Hebrew definitions of the 5 main words from Prov. 11:19. I think you’ll find they provide a more beautiful understanding of the verse.

A man’s wisdom [intelligence, success, discretion, policy, sense, understanding, wisdom]

gives him patience [defer, draw out, lengthen, make long, prolong, tarry];

it is to his glory [ornament, beauty, bravery, glory, honor, majesty]

to overlook [to cover, do away, get over, put away, take away, turn away]

an offense [rebellion, sin, transgression, trespass].

Or, using the Hebrew definitions in the 2nd English translation:

The discretion [intelligence, success, discretion, policy, sense, understanding, wisdom] of a man makes him

Slow to anger [defer, draw out, lengthen, make long, prolong, tarry]

and his glory [ornament, beauty, bravery, glory, honor, majesty]

is to overlook [to cover, do away, get over, put away, take away, turn away]

a transgression [rebellion, sin, transgression, trespass].

Choose your battles wisely.

Don’t waste your time and energy on isolated offenses that have no long-term impact on your life. Instead, find great satisfaction by deepening the strength of your character through overlooking them. Put your time and energy into standing up for violations to your rights in situations that are definitely harmful.

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