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Thursday, 01 September 2016 07:20

Refuse to Be Offended

Written by  Kemi Searcy
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“Woe to the world because of offenses” (Matthew18:7). Looking back through history to the present day, our world feels chaotic, almost too dangerous for us. Peace and safety have become our most sought after commodities.

 

There have been several references of people who have allowed offences to so affect their lives and in turn to ruin the lives of others.

 

Severely offended people will seek to wound others, even to the point of murder, if they do not let God properly heal the offense. The atrocities perpetuated by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin have been traced back to offenses in their formation years which never had been healed.

 

Cain killed his only brother Abel as a result of offense against him when Abel’s sacrifice was preferred by God. God cautioned Cain to beware of his offended heart but he did not take heed. (See Genesis 4:3-15.)

 

I wonder if some of the racial tension our nation is experiencing currently is a result of unhealed racial wounds caused by slavery. Lives are still perishing because of an offense over 150 years old.

 

It is very dangerous to hold on to offenses. Churches have closed down leaving disillusioned members with unanswered questions. It breaks my heart to watch friends of mine, once on fire for the Lord, now living in sin because they choose offense rather than forgiveness.

 

Many marriages have hit rock bottom because of offenses. Most of the wrong doings occurring in our homes are as a result of misunderstandings between the parties. If we will take time to listen to each other and be patient with each other, we will avoid a lot of hassles. Wives must not allow themselves to always be ruled by their emotions. We must learn to be objective. Husbands must also exercise patience and tenderness dealing with their wives and not wave them off as being too emotional.

 

Satan is the architect of most of the strife we face. He can implant a thought in your mind and make you think that thought originated with you. He is master at that.

 

For example, a wife will say to her husband, “Honey, please take the trash on your way out.”  He says, “Okay.” She goes to work and has a very bad day. She begins thinking about how tired she is and all the things she has to do when she gets home. A thought crosses her mind, I bet he didn’t even bother to take the trash! He’s been leaving me to do everything. As soon as she gets home, she finds that the garbage is still in the trashcan. She becomes furious. Meanwhile, the husband comes in the door, ready to give his wife a hug, “Honey . . . “She screams, “Honey what?”  He becomes offended by her angry reply and the trouble begins.

 

As believers we will be offended, but we must trust the Lord to give us a forgiving spirit. We must also learn to recognize the weaknesses in our lives so as to resist being offended. We first must be honest, admitting that we are hurt and offended. This is a road map to healing. What we do not admit, we do not deal with, and what we do not deal with will fester.  That is how offense turns to frustration, anger, and then rage which takes us to places we live to regret.

 

STOP AND THINK

 

Jesus said offenses will come. Someone will rub us the wrong way. Something is going to cause us anger, great pain, and disappointment. We are going to react in one of two ways:

1. Forgive

2. Embrace the offense

Before we choose either, we must first stop and consider the consequences of both actions. We should think about the ramifications of unforgiveness. The lack of clemency brings all sorts of health challenges plus the tension it causes in our relationships. Instead, we will find forgiveness to be very freeing and peaceful, promoting all things beautiful.

 

SOLUTION

 

1. Jesus says if someone offends us, we are to settle it with them.

2. Jesus also tells us to forgive.

3. Paul tells us that we must die to ourselves – a dead man cannot be offended.

 

 

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.  -- Abraham Lincoln

 

 

Last modified on Thursday, 01 September 2016 07:24
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