Offenses

As we go through life there are many challenges we face on day-to-day bases. Two of those challenges are receiving an offense and causing an offense. A person can be going along in life and out of nowhere someone can say something or do something that offends you. It does not take much in today’s society even to take on an offense. There are many diverse people groups and cultures in the world. Their beliefs and actions sometimes offend many. How we handle these offenses is a very crucial part to walking our Christianity. Our action and character when offended speak volumes to those inside and outside the church. 

The meaning of offense in the Greek Strong’s Concordance is (skandalon) #4625: the trigger of a trap (the mechanism closing a trap down on the unsuspecting victim); (figuratively) an offense, putting a negative cause-and-effect relationship into motion, a snare, stumbling-block.

John 17:1 Jesus stated, “it is impossible that no offenses should come.” If offenses are not properly handled and dealt with they can open doors for the devil, allowing animosity to set in. A good example is when Saul was offended because the people hailed David. He allowed the condition of his heart to be filled with hostility and hatred towards David, to the point he wanted David dead.

Prolonged offenses may give birth to bitterness; when it is not curbed can affect your state of mind; or may have a significant impact on your health and well-being. Holding on to bitterness can affect metabolism, immune response or organ function and lead to physical disease.

There are 3 channels that offenses can manifest:

  • Words: What you hear, what you say and how you say it. James 3:2
  • Thoughts: What you think about others and what you think others think about you.
  • Actions: What you do, what you refuse to do, what others do against you or what they don’t do that they should do.

The way we handle offenses can make all the difference in relationships with others and with God. Harboring an offense in your heart leaves an open door for the enemy to come in and steal your joy and tampers with our mind and emotions. He can even plant little demoralizing thoughts of how you look at yourself and others. 

To keep from taking on an offense it helps to be constantly in the word of God. It is a major instrument in building up our spirit and handling the offenses properly. Psalms 119:165, Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble. 

When we get offend by others we should show them mercy just as God shown us mercy. The following paragraph is from Heather Bixler from a article she wrote: “10 Ways to Overcome an Offense.”

The same mercy covering you is also covering your enemies. 

It can be difficult to look at a situation and feel like there is no justice being served. We wait for God to vindicate us, but it seems like He is doing the exact opposite by blessing our enemies. But the truth is the same mercy that covers you also covers your enemies. Just because God isn’t shooting balls of fire at the people who have hurt you, it doesn’t mean He isn’t in the process of getting ready to give YOU an upgrade. I think the defeat comes when we allow the offense to stop us from walking in God’s grace and mercy. For me personally I have wrestled with trust issues and I have found that if I let these trust issues determine my steps then I will likely destroy many of the relationships around me, not because of them, but because of my offense. Sometimes the justice is found in how we RISE UP from the ashes rather than how your enemies “pay” for what they did to you.

Alger Julson
Altar Team/Prayer Ministry Leader
NCWC

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