That’s not fair.
That person offended me.
I have a right to be mad.
Im angry and I’m not speaking to them.
Have you ever said one of these phrases? I’m sure you have or may have heard this. It’s the unhealthy language of offense rising up. Along with that comes all sorts of evil and negative feelings such as bitterness, gossip, passing judgment, discord, strife and unforgiveness.
I lead a church organization. And I see so many people come into a church hoping that they are coming into a place where there would never be any offense. (Although they are walking in with some already.) It’s a nice ideal but let me offend you with this truth…you will be offended! Something will offend you. Wherever there are people, there will be offenses. But here’s the thing: You don’t have to carry, hold on to or live with the offense. People get offended for all sorts of reasons. Majority of the times, the person who offended them is totally unaware. Offense doesn’t have to end in destruction, rejection and years of emotional complexes. But, you have to handle things in a scriptural way! I’ve learned that the offense itself doesn’t have the power to destroy you. It’s reacting to it based on your own feelings, opinions and ideas. First off, let’s look at what our Lord Jesus Christ had to say about offenses:
“Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”
Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.””
Luke 17:1-5 NKJV
First of all, Jesus Himself said in plain language it is impossible to never face an offense. Since it is going to come your way, you need to prepare your heart to handle it when it does!
Second of all, Jesus said never be the source of offense or intentionally cause people to be offended.
Third of all, and this is not something most people do. Jesus said when you are offended “take heed to yourself.” In other words, pay attention to your own self. Look at your own reactions. You might say why do I need to look at me? The person is the one who committed the sin. He or she’s the one with the problem. But while this may be true, what’s coming out of your heart is more important than the offense! Remember the warning in Proverbs 4:23 that said “Above all, guard your heart for out of it flows the issues of life.” Monitoring your heart from all ill-motives within you is the secret to solving the issues in your own life.
Fourth of all, Jesus shares the only way to deal with an offense in this statement…“forgive them.” An offense is not a reason to have an excuse to justify any manner of sin, immaturity or negative reactions we lash out on others with. The apostles when they heard this said Lord “increase our faith”. They believed this was some next level stuff as many of you may be feeling! This far beyond my level of Christianity. But Jesus gave them and us no wiggle room to live offended lives. Jesus said you only need faith the size of a mustard seed. Very little. Forgiveness is not a problem of faith. It’s a problem of choice!
Forgiveness is not a problem of faith. It’s a problem of choice!
Here’s the New Testament definition of an offense – to lay a trap or snare that causes one to fall or be drawn into sin.
The offense is not the sin. It’s the bait. It’s that trap that if you give yourself into it, will lead to your own destruction! Most people think an offense is something someone says or does that makes us feel bad and hurts our precious feelings. Far from it. Many people become offended at the truth for example. Offended at correction. But when the truth offends you, it’s not to draw you into sin, but to draw you OUT of sin!
When the truth offends you, it’s not to draw you into sin, but to draw you OUT of sin!
Jesus Himself is known as the “Rock of Offense.” (Romans 9:33) Because He is the Truth. And when the truth first hits you, it sometimes makes you angry. But then you wise up and realize this truth is coming at me to set me free! A pure heart and a willingness to walk in forgiveness is all you need to walk out of the trap of offense, unoffended and unharmed. When a Christian chooses to remain offended, they are in sin or in violation of God’s prescription known as the scriptures. They set their intent on staying offended. This is where the real destruction starts. Because what these Christians/people do is bring other people into their offense in order to feel like they are right. They want others on their side. They reject counsel and draw others into their conflict. From such, stay away from!!! How do you handle being brought into conflicts & offense that are not your own? I’ll explain more in the next post. Stay tuned!
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