Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Don't let Fear have Rule

We have all experienced fear. The degree and affect of fear differs for each person depending on age, life experience, emotional maturity, and the help available during and/or after a fearful event. 

Yes, there are more factors and a countless number of things that bring fear but one thing is true, fear has the ability to keep us captive. 

I recently spoke to a women who told me of a move from a northern state to a southern state, where she is now living, that happened years earlier. She mentioned being fearful about the move because she had two teenage boys, both in high school. She knew that the move could be very disruptive for them since they had grown up in the area they were moving from. 

It would have been very tempting for this family to say that the risk was too great and they would rather pass on the job than to cause unneeded friction and chaos to their boys. Instead, they made the move and the boys are both fine. 

What made the difference for this family? They didn't let fear dictate what they should do, they did it and trusted that God had given this opportunity and they were willing to trust Him.

My husband and I had a similar experience when our children were entering their early years of high school and we knew that God was giving us the opportunity to do over seas mission work. We were very comfortable where we were. We had a good church, friends, a home, and my husband enjoyed his job as a teacher. We could have allowed fear to overtake us and "for our kids' sake" waited to answer the call until they both graduated. But instead, we trusted God and we do not regret it.

These are very simple examples. What about the young woman who fears marriage because of her abusive father, or the young man who fears pursuing a career because his family made him feel like a failure his entire life? 

The girl who is raped, the boy who is hazed, the mom who loses a child to illness, the husband who's wife is killed by a drunk driver, what do they all have in common? Fear. Fear of trusting, fear of starting over, fear of standing up to those who abuse them, fear of being alone.

So many fears. So many things to overwhelm us and shut us down. How can we ever overcome fear and keep it from ruling our lives?

Some people are born with an undying tenacity, very little affects them. Some people find it necessary to take a prescription to help balance the mind so they can think rationally. Others find "balance" with over the counter stimulates, which may provide some relief and may even seem to bring courage, but becoming dependent on something so artificial often proves to be a determent and not a help.

The rest of us, those who are facing fears that seem insurmountable, need a safe place and assurance that our fears are not going to devour us. So where do we turn?

For me, the only place that I have ever found to be a solid and sure foundation is in the arms of Jesus. That may sound a little hokey, but I grew up in an abusive home where love was not spoken, encouragement not given, and safety was not guaranteed. Fear? I  know fear!

All I can say is that when I came to discover who God is and how very much He loves me and wants to be there for me, I learned to trust Him and to have faith in what He says. I found comfort. I felt peace. I had assurance that I was never alone. 

Some ask, "Well if God is a good God, why does He let bad things happen?". He knows, He sees, He cares, but He has given mankind a free will and we make the choice to do bad things. It is more complex than that, but that is the basic answer, we do these things to ourselves and look to put the blame on Him.

As a girl, I would sit with my Bible and read. That is how I got to know God, who He is and what He wanted for my life. My Sunday school teachers where also a huge help to me. So I am going to get you started as you seek to find what it means to have faith in the One who wants to be your strength, and how to trust again so fear is not always standing in victory over your life. And remember, there are different kinds of fear, some that protect and some that debilitate.
Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 46:2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Psalm 56:4 In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
Ps 118:6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
Hebrews 13:6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Too Vested in One's self

Have you ever met someone who seems so vested in himself that he ignores life around him? At first you see him as someone who is genuine and honest only to now see him as someone whose only goal is to accomplish his own agenda.

Yes, I have met men and women who are out for self, if fact, I have, at times, been that person. We all have a selfish side and want to be the center of attention, but when does that selfishness become self-centeredness?

Self-centeredness is refusing to look beyond your own desires, wants and needs -and thereby failing to meet the needs of someone else, and/or failing to be happy for someone else.

Now, that general "definition" is not the first thing you think of when you think of a Christian and well, it shouldn't be, but that's who I am referring to here, as you will read.

Some signs that I have noticed in the self-centered/self-seeking person are:

1) They miss the bigger picture.
For the Christian, the bigger picture is supposed to be about building the Kingdom of God and has nothing to do with our glory. Our goal as Christ followers is to fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)

2) They tend to shut out or ignore those with opposing opinions.
Because they see their agenda and their way of doing things as the best/most important, they will find ways to "silence" those who do not agree with them, such as ignoring or talking over that person or the classic "arguing a point" in an attempt to make them look bad.

3) They seek to discredit those who do not have the same vision. 
A "vision" is what someone sees for the future, whether for himself, his church, his company or his family. When the self-centered person is confronted about a faulty or unrealistic vision he or she is very quick to find ways to discredit the opposer.

4) They are in a constant state of change. 
This self-seeking personality is so desirous of a specific end goal, that they are quick to justify (what seems to be) constant change to reach that desired goal or to advance the vision. He or she will find every "loop hole", every excuse, and use every manipulation possible to make that "dream a reality".

5) They are careful to silence those who are willing to say, "This isn't working".
The self-centered person can be so narcissistic that even when failure is obvious he will keep holding on to the thing that is destroying (discrediting) him or those around him. The person who finally approaches him or her will find "hostility" because he is sure that he is right and he only needs the time and resources to make it happen.

6) They are jealous of others who have succeeded where they seem to be failing.
This person is the one who wants something so bad that they can "taste it". The problem comes when they have been working for a long while and nothing seems to be going the way it should. They will speak poorly of the person who has found the success they desire but have not attained...yet.

7) They become a crusader and/or lone wolf as people stop following them.
Because the self-centered person is so driven to have their way succeed they will become desperate to hold on to their vision or dream and do whatever it takes to keep it from dying, especially as they see people giving up and walking away. This includes surrounding him or herself with "yes people", constantly "pounding the point home", belittling people for not being totally on board, or trying to guilt people into it. None of these things builds support, in fact, it drives people away once they see the self-centered person for who he or she really is.

Regardless of what the charismatic self-centered person may say or do, in reality they have stopped seeking to find God's will, they are not genuinely loving others (unless you totally agree and follow everything they are saying), and the goal or vision has become an idol (it has taken the place of God).

Is their a solution to combat this self-centered/self-seeking attitude?

First the person MUST recognize that they have a problem and that they need to make changes.

Next, the person must turn to God in repentance and prayer. He or she MUST ask God to help them recognize the self-seeking attitude for what it is (even when the goal or vision seems to be one that will build the Kingdom of God but in reality is set to build that person's reputation).

Another key is constant evaluation instead of constant change. They need to ask, "What is my motive? What is really in my heart? Am I doing this for God or for me?". Every time he or she finds that they are falling back into the "self trap" they need to seek God's help.

Another huge key is real accountability. The self-centered person who surrounds him or herself with "yes people" (those who tend to be weak and naive in the presence of someone who is strong and persuasive) will tend to get his or her way. It is up to the person seeking to change from a self-centered person to a God-center person to surround him or herself with people who ask the hard questions and are not afraid to confront when it is needed.

Whether this applies to you, your parent, your child, your boss, or a friend we must be patient and realize that change is not easy and that it can be a struggle,  but also realize that you must be firm or change will be ignored.

If you care about someone, then you will have their best interest at heart, and when change comes, it will not only please you but will also lead them (or you) into a path that allows God to be first, which is the best cure for self-centeredness.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Motivations. Something that those around cannot see. In fact most of us find it quit easy to drift through life half-heartedly while those around us see us as a hero because it is easy for us to "fake" sincerity.

We may greet someone with a big smile and say "hello" while thinking to our self that we hope they don't want to stop and talk because we are not in the mood.

Although it can be harder to fool close family (husband, children, mom, dad), when it comes to our motivates, but it is not impossible. I know there are when I half-heartedly give of my time and or energy to help my husband but, to be honest, I was just not "feeling it".

Sound familiar?


There is only One who truly knows our motivations and that cannot be fooled by a smile, a cheery hello, or flimsy offer of help.

God sees the heart, the place where motivations stem. He tells us that " For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21) and "The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45). 

God often makes reference to the heart when it comes to the motivations of men. In Matthew 15:8 we hear Jesus repeat what Isiah said, "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;" 

Verse 9 goes on to say that "in vain do they worship me..." How could He know this if He could not see their hearts. I don't know about you but their have been times when I've gone to church and "worshiped in vain" because my heart was not in it. Sadly, God knew it.

Another proof of God knowing our heart/motivations is evident in I Samuel 16:7 when God tells Samuel "..For the Lord does not see man as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."

God looks at my heart. That is a very discomforting thought. My heart is far from being perfect. My motives can be self seeking, self promoting and down right selfish. How can He be happy with that?

Thankfully, He isn't surprised by any negative thing that may heart can produce. I cannot make Him sad or surprise Him. He is not motivated or influenced by my emotions, sin, or motives. He has provided me with His Word so I know what He wants. He has provided me with the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide. I have all I need for my heart/motives to function as He intended.

So if God know our heart and He sees when our motivations for doing sometime are wrong, even sinful, what do we do? 

Seek Him through prayer and through reading His Word. Ask Him to help us when we know that our motives stink. Ask Him to make us aware of when our hearts are not where they need to be. 

I look to the example of King David when I think about this notion of "motivation". 

David was not prefect either. He made some major mistakes, committed sins that caused him a lot, yet God says that he (David) was a man after His own heart. Why? 

David loved and trusted God; to forgive him, to guide him, to change his heart. That is were we need to be, in the mindset of loving and trusting God enough to know that He will help us be all He wants us to be, and to change our hearts so out motivations will honor Him.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Highs and Lows

Have you ever had a day (week, month, or year) were you felt like you were on an emotional roller coaster. One moment you were in a great mood and the world looked bright and cheery only to have something happen that caused it to seem dark and dreary?

So what do you do when these moments come and is it possible to get to a point in your life where "feelings" stop causing you to run a muck?

I believe there is an solution but first let's look at someone who dealt with a roller coaster of emotions.

We meet him early on in the four Gospels of the New Testament. His name is Simon Peter. Ring a bell?

As I was recently reading Luke 5:1-11, I could see Peter "in the beginning" and realizing that his "highs and lows" were present from the moment we meet him.

In the passage above, Jesus was in the early stages of His ministry on earth. We see Him teaching, healing and being pursued by crowds of people. On this occasion, we see Him by the sea of Galilee trying to find a good location to be heard by those seeking after Him.

He gets into the boat of Simon Peter and asks him to push out a ways from the shore. Jesus teaches and then makes an unusual request of Peter,  "let's go fishing".

This is one of the first occasions that we see Peter emote as he says, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing BUT at your word I will let down the net".

I don't know about you, but I can almost hear the "huff" in his voice as he says "BUT". as if to say "If it makes you happy...".

Phew, I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have had that attitude. Already low because things have not gone my way, I retreat and settle into my comfort zone (for him, cleaning the nets), only to be asked to do something else that I am not in the mood to do. But to make someone else "happy", I do it.

In Luke 5:8 Peter's emotions take another turn as he sees an unexpected miracle, one that could only be explained by recognizing Jesus as God. He emotes again as he says, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord". A far cry from a couple of verse ago and the "if it make you happy..." attitude.

He now sees himself as wretched and unworthy, and to be honest, he was, but so are we.

This attitude is the first key; seeing ourselves as wretched and unworthy.

In today's society we strive to "build ourself and others up" so no one "feels bad" about who they are or what they do. The problem is that that idea spits in the face of God's Word.

Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:23, Romans 7:24, I John 1:9-10

The second key to getting off the roller coaster of emotional highs and lows is found in Peters response in Luke 5:11, he along with Andrew, James and John, left what was familiar, giving up all they had and knew, to follow Jesus.

This is called faith. Believing without reservation. Giving up everything you are or will be and placing your trust in the One who created you, died and rose from the dead for you, and Who has a plan for your life.

This transformation from highs and lows did not happen over night for Peter. It took three years of being in the presence of Jesus, as well as His death and resurrection for Peter to get to the point were his emotions no longer had rule over him. Honestly, that makes me glad, because it means that there is still hope for me.

If I watch the progression of Peter throughout the New Testament, his highs and lows are caught and corrected by Jesus and the more faith/trust that Peter had in Jesus the less he over reacted.

So, for me, this means that I need to see myself as God sees me, wretched, unworthy and that I can only be made worthy through Jesus.

It also means that my faith/trust in Jesus must grow so that my emotions do not have rule over me.

When I base situations on my emotions then I end up on that roller coaster (and a mess). When I place my faith in Jesus as my Savior then trust Him to direct my life, then emotions will not have rule over me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The "Shy" Child

The topic of  the "shy child" is a touchy subject, among parents. In fact, it is a subject that is often better left untouched if you ever want to be spoken to again by any member of that family.

After thirty-five years in children's ministry and having raised two children (and having been a child myself) I've seen many "shy" children.

So why am I even approaching such a sensitive subject?

A recent Sunday at church prompted me to try to lift the veil of silence that has shrouded this subject for a number of years now.

One of  our families was dropping off their twins in the toddler room. The twins are not quite two, and struggle with being separated from mom. Not uncommon, many parents are quick to tell you that the child will stop crying in a few minutes (which they do).

On this particular Sunday the older brother (a six year old), looked at the teacher and said of his little sister (one of the twins), "It's alright. When she is afraid she gets like this. She'll be fine as soon as she isn't afraid." Precious, yes. Telling, definitely.

Obviously his goal was to help the teacher understand why his little sister was backing away from the gate that she has entered many times before, each time with the same response. His heart was in the right place but his words where not only a means of explanation to the teacher but also an "excuse" for little sister. More than likely his parents had used the same words to help him understand her "shyness".

Yes, I know. I have your attention now. "Excuse", you ask. "How harsh", you say. Let me explain.

My childhood was rough in many ways, not to mention, I was "shy". No one ever told me that I was "shy" but I knew that I struggled with being open and talkative like other little girls around me. So often I felt out of place thus leading me to find one person to feel safe with and that would be my one and only friend. From kindergarten to sixth grade I had one friend, the same friend, all those years. If she was sick or wanted to play with a group of children, I sat on the fire escape alone.

Being "shy" can be a very lonely world.

As a teen and young adult I stayed in the same pattern. One close friend that I met at church, in seventh grade.

Fast forward to marriage. Now the closest person to me, my husband, is also someone who is "selective" in who he makes friends with and tends to only have a couple close friends at a time. During our early years of marriage, we were close friends with my school chum and her husband.

Our children are born. We really had no idea of how we were responding to people or why, but now we where, by example, bring up "loners". And, I have to admit, using the "shy" card for my own little girl when she was very small.

It wasn't until we took a parenting class that we began to realize that "shy" was a "personality trait" called an "introvert". We also discovered that the "act of being shy" could be called "being rude". Also that many parents will say, "I'm sorry, she's shy" as a way to excuse the fact the child is choosing to ignore that someone asked a question or greeted their child and deserves a polite response but isn't about to get one, which can be embarrassing to us as a parent.

The main thing that I have noticed in those thirty-five years of working with kids is that the child is very quick to "own" the title of "shy" and will use it to his or her advantage.

Remember the little boy that I mentioned earlier? He was trying to inform the adults of why his sister was responding that way she was. I see that kind of response as crippling a child mentally and socially, so I am usually quick to respond. My response was, "We shouldn't say that in front of her, it will give her an excuse to continue to respond that why. Instead we should encourage her to be brave and pray for her."

The reason for writing this was his response. He said, "Oh. That makes sense. Let's do that."

A six year old got what most adults don't.

Let's take a quick look at helping the "shy" child,

1) Your child may be a natural born introvert but that is not an excuse for rudeness. Encourage the the child to politely respond to people who are speaking to him or her. If her or she is not taught to be polite and see others as having value, then the world will continue to revolve around him or her closing out many wonderful people and opportunities.

2) Keep in mind that the introvert must learn to live and work in the real world. You may choose to make excuses for the child and think of it as protecting him or her but the truth is you are not helping him or her, in  fact in many ways, you are crippling the child socially. He or she does not need to be the "life of the party" but if the child is to get and keep a job (and friends), he or she will need certain people skills.

3) Use words of encouragement instead of excuses. Never say, "He's shy" or "She's shy" in front of your child. If he or she is truly an introvert and you want others to be aware of why the child seems to shut down when around others, tell those people in private. Then give those who want or need to interact with your child some clues, phrases, or subjects of interest to the child to allow them to ease into a conversation or basic interaction with your child.

When the child chooses to ignore those seeking to interact with your child, ask for forgiveness for the child and tell them that your family is "working on helping him respond toward others in a more positive way". It has now become a teaching time for you as a parent. Sit with the child and talk through what happened and what should have happened and how it should go next time.

Remember that the definition of "encouragement" is to "to put courage into" and we all need that from time to time.

4) As mentioned above, set up "scenarios" for the young child as a way of "coaching" him or her. It is better to teach in "non-conflict" times. If your daughter has on a new dress, tell her that morning that people are going to notice her pretty new dress and comment on it and she needs to be prepared to respond politely to them. "Thank you" is a good starting point.

Why bother? Is it really worth the struggle. Is it a hill to die on? When it is for your child's mental and social health, Yes it is!

I know a number of families who have adult children who are painfully "shy". These young adults were given a "label" as a child and it has been used for years as an excuse for not trying to train the tender heart to be others focused.

I also know families who have children with social disorders who have worked very hard to help their son or daughter develop into the best adult he or she can be. Even though you notice that the young adult does not quite respond like "everyone else", you do notice an effort being put forth to properly respond when engaged. And when you learn what that person has had to deal with and how his or her parents have helped their child grow into a functioning adult that struggles, but works hard to be polite to others, you feel a sense of pride for those brave parents.

One last but very important point for Christian parents to keep in mind is that God has called all of His children to be witnesses. If a "shy" child grows into a "shy" adult there will be difficulty in sharing what Jesus did to secure salvation, and therefore it may hinder your child's ability to fulfill the clear call God has placed on our lives to "go and make disciples" (Matthew 28:19).

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

You Trust but Do You Serve?

"You trust but do you serve?" has been a question on my mind more and more lately.

I know many wonderful people who seem to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, but I watch them being constantly distracted by the things of the world. It breaks my heart to know that the moth, rust, and thieves (Matthew 6:19) of this life will rob them of minutes, hours, and days that they could have given to God and to the building His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33).

Distractions, some are good, some are bad, some are amoral.

I am speaking to myself as well when I ask, "Is what you're doing so important to you that you skip over God in the midst of it?".

I get distracted by my "housework" and the pressure I place on myself to get it done (which seems to never be completed). I can  also become distracted by house repairs (painting and such) in the winter and my gardening in the summer. Before I know it, the day is gone and I tell myself I will start again tomorrow, as I crawl into bed and realize I spent away the day and never once thought about stopping to spend time with God in prayer or in reading His Word.

So may families today spend away so much of their time in the distraction of sports for their children. There are many reasons; some feel it makes their child more rounded, while others are looking for college scholarships to offset tuition. And yes, their are those who are trying to live out their own dreams through their children. Whatever the case, the problem comes in the distractions taking priority over God and His Kingdom.

What do I mean? What about the "You trust but do you serve?" question.

I started working in children's ministry at my church when I was thirteen years old, I am now in my late forties and still serving in children's ministry. In that time I have watched families fall apart. I have watched families spend most of the summer chasing vacation spot after vacation spot. I have seen families go from one "meet or tourney" to another as they travel the States for their child to "compete". I have watched as families see rain on a Sunday and decide it is just too "yucky" to go to church. Are you seeing a pattern here?

The pattern that I have seen (and that I am seeing with more and more families) is the lack of commitment to God that the distracted family has, especially when it come to the spiritual growth of their children.

Yes, I am a mother. My husband and I have two adult children. I can say that we as parents set a priority on going to church (each Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday evening), as well as serving together in the children's ministry each Sunday morning, and teaching parenting classes on Wednesday night. I am not looking to brag, but instead to make a point. We could have had our children involved in sports that engrossed all of our time or felt that certain days (Sundays included) were the only family time we really had or that the weekends during the summer were meant for the beach, but that is not the example we wanted to set for our children. We wanted our children to see that our top priority was God and honoring Him by serving in His church (which was our local body of believers).

You see, we have not only chosen to Trust Jesus as our Savior but we have also chosen to faithfully serve Him by serving others through our church body. And our children were there, watching on when they were young, and as teens, helping us as we did so. They are now serving in their churches, with their spouses and hopefully, one day with their children. Why? Because when we build the Kingdom of God, and we are seeking to honor Him with our lives, the moths, rust, and thieves of this world will gain nothing because our treasure with be secure with God and not invested on the fleeting moments of this world's distractions.

I am not saying that if you take a vacation or miss a Sunday once a month that you don't love God. But I am extending a challenge to serve and to let your children see you serve. If your child has an away game on a Sunday, strike up a spiritual conversation with the person next to you. If you're on vacation, find a local church and go as a family. If family time is limited due to crazy work schedules, give the time to God, go to church together, then trust Him to provide family time that will bring even more fulfillment and closeness.

God doesn't accept excuses. He says "...where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:21).   Trust Him and Serve Him and take your children with you on the adventure!


Sunday, July 10, 2016

On Forgiveness

Have you ever messed up?

Have you ever insulted, falsely accused, or simply upset someone else to the point that they shut themselves off from you?

I have done this more often that I care to admit. I would love to say, that my age, I have figured things out and I make few mistakes or that I rarely sin, but that is not the case.

My father was someone who kept people at arms length. He was critical and non-trusting. Sadly, these poor examples became part of who I am as well. Because of these taught behaviors I find myself insulting, accusing, and upsetting people through being to honest or by being over sensitive about their mistakes and behaviors. Many people can overlook and easily dismiss the faults of others where I tend to dwell on them and as I over think the situations, I find myself backing away from someone and even avoiding them, as well as complaining about the flaws I see in them.

My dad use to tell me that I was thick headed and stubborn. It's true. When I am determined to do something, more than likely nothing is going to stop me. On the same hand it also means that I struggle to make needed changes. This is not good when it comes to making things right with those I have offended or that have offended me.

The fact is I offended someone recently. I chose to tell a third partly about a situation, who in turn went to that person, thus causing the offence. In their upset state, the offended person chose to go to a fourth party and shared the grievance (causing even more problems). Yes, lots of mistakes where made by each of us but I realized that my focus needed to be on me because I am accountable to Him for my actions and not for theirs.

So what happened? Well, I knew that I needed to apologize for my part of it, especially since I am the one who started the cycle of mistakes we each hard a part in. I felt it best to write a note that apologized for my part as far as it concerned the offended party and myself.

Normally, I would have just avoided the person but lately, as I have been praying more about my lousy default methods, God laid a verse on my heart that prompted me to try to make amends. Romans 12:18 "If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men."  

Boom, straight to the heart, my heart and the heart of the issue! Living at peace with others cannot be done in a strained relationship where bitterness, anger, and distrust take up residence.

It is hard to admit when we are wrong. It is even harder to admit that to another person. To live at peace will mean making peace, which may include asking forgiveness  What the other party does with the apology is between them and God.

How I move forward and respond to a person I offend or that offends me is between me and God. I need to examine my motivations and, leaving pride behind, I need to respond to them as God would have me to, in love.

Hard? Yes! Necessary! Yes!

How about you? Do you have someone that you need to make things right with? Have you responded poorly and know that it is going to be hard to ask forgiveness? Pray and ask God to soften your heart so you can apologize. Pray that the heart of the one that you need approach will be soften so he or she will receive your apology. Ask God to set up the circumstances in a way that makes it easier to approach the offended. Don't put it off to long, it only gets harder.

Once you have done your part, be prepared to let God work in that person's heart. They can forgive you or they can chose not to forgive you, it is not your decision to make for them. If, like me, offending others seems to happen often, stay in prayer that God will make you aware of your words and responses so it happens less and less allowing you to "live at peace" with others.