Unoffended

Esther 5:13-14
Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.  Then said Zeresh his wife and all his friends unto him, Let a gallows be made of fifty cubits high, and to morrow speak thou unto the king that Mordecai may be hanged thereon: then go thou in merrily with the king unto the banquet. And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made.

In the grand scheme of things, Mordecai had done nothing to Haman.  All that was wounded was Haman’s pride.  Mordecai never attacked him or said anything against him.  He merely went about his business and let Haman go about his.  And yet Haman was full of so much hatred for Mordecai.  It bothers Haman every time he walks past and does not receive from Mordecai the honor he feels he is due.  He can’t see the good in his life for the one inconsequential thing that isn’t the way he wants it to be.

Haman becomes so fixated on this perceived slight from Mordecai that he can hardly think about anything else.  And his answer and his desire is to destroy a person, and a nation, because he was offended.  He doesn’t care about anyone but himself.  He’s worried he won’t get to enjoy the special banquet with Esther and the king because of Mordecai, so he builds the gallows to attempt to eliminate the source of his discomfort.

We can’t let what other people do have so much control over our lives.  We can’t be so prideful that any offense ruins our day or our life and steals our joy.  If we have the proper perspective, it won’t matter so much who likes us or who doesn’t.  It won’t matter so much if someone disrespects us or treats us differently than we think we should be treated.  If other people’s approval and acceptance isn’t the most important thing, we’ll be able to just keep on going without being destroyed by something that really doesn’t matter.

Haman demonstrated a very petty and prideful attitude.  But even if he had a legitimate gripe against Mordecai, it wasn’t his place to try to destroy him.  It wasn’t the right course of action to respond in the extreme way that he did.  It’s not up to us to try to destroy those who hurt us, to try to put people in their place, or even to try to force others to do what they don’t want to do.  Our part is to respond in love and grace as God commands us to and to let Him handle the rest.  Let’s not allow petty offenses or our own pride to lead to our destruction, but may we rise above that and live with integrity and humility instead.

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