1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. -John 16:1
Of the people reading this right now, there is probably half of you that are currently dealing with some kind of offense. Someone some where has said something, done something, thought something (or so you thought), to hurt you and now you are offended. Well, you might as well walk to the nearest jail house, stroll right into a cell and tell them to lock the gate behind you. Why? Cause if you are living with offense, you are living in bondage.
Often times when someone says or does something to hurt us, we sit on that offense and let it stew, fester and boil over until a relatively small issue becomes a huge, full-blown problem. Instead of magnifying the Lord, we magnify the offense and now it consumes our every thought. Did you know that offense can hinder the power of God from flowing in your life? This is because offense can turn into unforgiveness and you cannot receive the blessings of God if you harbor unforgiveness in your heart.
“But I have forgiven them” you say. “I even pray for them!” Have you really? Are you still thinking and talking about that person and how they offended you? Cause if you are, you haven’t truly forgiven. Did you know continuing to think and talk about an offense can negate any prayers you may be praying for that person? True forgiveness means walking in love. When you walk in love you magnify God, not the offense. Love always believes the best. Love does not speak ill of someone else. Love covers a multitude of sins. When we are walking in love, we are not easily offended.
1 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! -Luke 17:1
Now I don’t mean to suggest that offense will never come. We are human and, as such, are likely to deal with our flesh from time to time. But, we can choose to believe the best of people. It’s pretty hard to become offended by someone when you believe the best of them. Besides, half the time, the things that we are offended over aren’t even about us! Many times offense comes through a lack of communication. Someone said something, but you don’t know what is going on in their head. Or, to bring this into the modern times…someone wrote something on their Facebook status and you think they are talking about you, when really they could be thinking and dealing with something that has nothing to do with you. Now you are all upset and offended and your day (or week, or month or year…its up to you) is ruined. You would save yourself a lot of grief and heart ache if, instead of jumping to conclusions, you simply learned to communicate with people. Recognize, you are not on other people’s minds as much as you think you are.
23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” – Matthew 16:23
The Greek word for offense is skandalon. A skandalon is a trap, snare or stumbling block. It is usually the part of the trap that holds the bait. So in essence, when we yield to offense, we are essentially taking the bait from Satan’s trap! Now, the Devil has got you right where it wants you….upset, defeated, living in discord, imprisoned. This is not the will of God. As hard as it may be, we have got to choose not to be offended! We have got to stand up against the enemy and fight for our freedom! Saints if this something that you struggle with, fear not and know that you will get there!
Father I am thankful that you have given me the freedom to choose not to be offended and I thank you that even when I do, that I recognize it swiftly and begin to walk in love and enjoy the peace and joy that you have for me.