And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. – Matthew 24:10
Hello everyone, I must offer a very sincere apology for my very long hiatus. Please forgive my procrastinating, workaholic, I can do it all self. I’m here now, let’s study!
By the way, Happy New Month! Happy Independence Day!
So today I experienced something I decided to make a post out of it.
I was somewhat vexed with my friend last week Sunday and I decided to ‘test’ her. According to my scorecards she failed and thus in mind, my actions were justified but then I felt the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit to call her immediately and tell her what was going on. Left to me, I wanted to wait a few days to let it seethe. So I called her and lo and behold, a misunderstanding was at the root of it all. At the end of the call, I had recovered a friend, restored a relationship and my hope for future church pictures was restored!
My point to you is this: How often have you let an offence ruin your joy, destroy your relationships and hurt someone else?
Roll up your sleeves, let’s study what offences are!
Offence is basically when something hurts you…the dictionary meaning is annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself. It is synonymous with anger, annoyance, resentment etc.
The word offence comes from the Greek word, Skandalon. The word means a snare, a noose or a trap. It also means something that makes someone to stumble or fall into a scandalous act.
Offence must surely come to us in this world
“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting – Matthew 18:7
The question is how do we relate to it when it comes?
- Be careful not to offend people.
“Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” – 1 Cor 10:32
The bible warns us to live at peace with all men and we are to watch ourselves and our conduct (Romans 14). The fact that something doesn’t offend you doesn’t mean that it’s not offensive to someone else. We are called to treat the next person as superior to ourselves (Phil 2:3 – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.) So be watchful and careful with your remarks, comments etc. trying as much as you can to be respectful of others feelings.
- Be quick to apologise when someone tells you of your fault.
I am a culprit of justifying and defending myself when someone tells me I did something wrong. However, the biblical way is to apologise first so as to alleviate the hurt registered in the other’s mind before, if at all, seeking to be justified. As I said earlier because you don’t think something offensive doesn’t mean it isn’t…you are not the gold standard.
- Speak out!
When someone offends you, you have 2 choices; speak out and maybe restore the relationship or keep quiet and deal with it. I will be first to raise my hand for the 2nd option as that’s my MO most of the time but I am learning to show people their faults! Nobody is perfect and iron sharpeneth iron; if I never tell my friends the truth about how I feel about them what kind of friendship is that?!
Speaking out also goes a long way in overcoming the offence and restoring the relationship. In your speaking out though, do it in love with the sole aim being to restore friendship and not to hurt the person back.
- Set up boundaries!
Yes! Some people are best loved from a distance FAM! Not everybody should be in your corner, be okay with that! If you find that you are regularly taking offence from someone or something or someplace, why not put a little distance?
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” – Mark 9:47
Your peace of mind and salvation is far more important that person, place or thing! When Jesus went back to his home town to bless them, the Bible records that they didn’t receive him well and he could do no great works there…what did he do? He left! (Matt 13:58)
“But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” – Mark 6:11
I am not advocating leaving your children or spouses or jobs because they get on your nerves oo; certain situations require prayerful counsel and the wisdom of God. However small offences can be relieve by simply backing off and leaving room for the Holy Spirit to do his work! Abusive relationships of whatever kind are also better resolved from a distance. #beguided
- Let go of your pride and submit to God!
Ouch! That was loud and I felt it! You see ehn, offence comes because we feel wronged, and we feel like we don’t deserve that kind of treatment. You are part of a fellowship and nobody called you on your birthday and you are offended. The cleaner didn’t greet you this morning. The pastor preached a message you didn’t agree with and you are offended. We need to be careful and die to ourselves as not to fall prey of this trap.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” – Gal 2:20
Die to yourself! Humble yourself to God and he will lift you up!
This is mightily hard because we are flesh after all; what I do is whenever I feel offended by anything, I immediately take it to God in prayer (this is how to submit to God) and let him to direct me. Many times he shows me my fault and other times he directs me on the specific steps to take.
So next time you feel that somehow feeling of offence in your chest, get into your closet and pray!
In conclusion, Offence is a powerful weapon in the hands of the devil that’s why you must rid yourself of it. Offence let untreated would destroy our family, business, work and even church relationships.
“A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.” – Provs 18:19
Today please revisit every hurt and offence you can remember, lay them before God and allow him do his healing work, call the offender and begin restoration.
God bless you.
P.S. God has already given you grace for this, use it!
I found an amazing article about this topic for your consumption, please read also for further reference. http://dominionchapel.org.uk/the-danger-of-offences/