Have you ever been offended?
One of the things that can kill a marriage, family relationship, friendship or even a relationship with a co-worker is when an offense takes place. Many are offended but don’t know how to handle the offense. As humans we are prone to handling offenses in a way that displeases God. To offend is to irritate, upset, disappoint, annoy or anger, to cause resentful displeasure. It is also to emotionally disagree, to hurt or cause pain. Have you been offended lately? Maybe you haven’t been offended but you have caused someone to be offended? I have been on both sides of the fence therefore, I decided to do a mini study on dealing with offenses.
My daughter read a devotion on being offended and shared it with me. She said mom, “Being offended is a choice.” One can simply choose to be offended or not be offended. It sounds so simple.(Out of the mouth of babes!) God has given you the power to choose, no matter what a person says or does to you. You have to choose! This was eye-opening to me. So when someone says something that hurts, you can instantly decide I am not going to be offended by that and keep it moving. Don’t store it, don’t hold on to it and ask God to help you to release it quickly. Can you imagine how many relationships that can be saved, if everyone would choose not to be offended?
God wants us to practice forgiveness when an offense takes place. The enemy wants us to be offended and hold on to a grudge. The opposite of being offended is forgiveness. Matthew 24:10 AMP says “And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert (Him Whom they ought to trust and obey) and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred. The enemy is known for shooting out offenses to kill, steal and destroy. However, as Christians we must not allow him to kill our relationships and paralyze us by not forgiving. Help us Lord!
While reading an article (sermoncentral.com) on being offended, I learned that an offense starts as a thought and thoughts are seeds that enter your mind. “Seeds of offense are the beginning of developments of offense in our lives. But we have the ability to refuse the thought or uproot the seed before an offense is fully grown in the garden of our hearts.” The offense seed has four ways that it is sown. We are prone to be offended by:
- What others say to us.
- What others did not say to us.
- What others did to us (negative reactions and actions)
- What people didn’t do for us (favor or assistance we did not receive)
When an offense seed is sewn, it produces bitterness (James 3:14-16). Bitterness will grow and produce the fruit of resentment. So when the seed is sown we must not allow it to germinate. If it germinates you will be resentful and display it in what you say or what you do. I could go on and on with this, but I will stop here. I pray that the Holy Spirit will speak to each of us about this topic. I pray that God will heal your heart if you have been offended and that He will show you where you have offended someone. If you are the offender, repent, ask God and the person to forgive you. If you never get an apology, release it to God, choose to forgive and move on. Remember you have a choice!
Until next week . . .