Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The Spirit of Offense
In the Gospel of Matthew verse 24 - the disciples asked Jesus as He was departing for Heaven “What will be the signs of your coming and of the end of the world?” And Jesus answered: Matt 24:10-13 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved..
This day has come. The Church has become offended. Members are offended by their Pastors, so they leave the church. Employees are offended by their employer, so they quit. Couples are offended in marriage, so they divorce sighting irreconcilable differences. Children and Young Adults are offended, so they bring guns to school and shoot anyone in there way. We wake up with attitudes. Angry. Mad. Upset. This has become your disposition.
The Dictionary defines offense as: a violation, transgression, to hurt or cause pain, to cause to fall into a sinful state.
The "spirit of offense" chokes off ordinary conversation. It chokes off benefit of the doubt. It chokes off forgiveness. It chokes off tolerance. It denies human imperfection, and expects a simple, loving person to be precise and mechanical while trying to express sincerity. It assumes the worst. It ignores the obvious intention and digs for something ugly. It allows common every day words to be misconstrued and implicated as the offender of rights. I believe it is the most vicious problem in our society today, and that it nourishes an attitude of dissatisfaction with life, especially for those who choose to carry it around like a badge of honor that reads, "Indignant, and rightfully so." So easily offended and never seeing that the problem is within them, but most often they would rather place the blame on someone, anyone else, rather than accept responsibility and acknowledge that it is their choice to be offended.
An offense is Satan’s trap to hold you back from God’s blessings in your life.
I believe that recognizing this spirit of offense and restraining it is the key to personal freedom that ultimately unlocks the ability to enjoy life and its simplest pleasures.
We have all had our feelings hurt at one time or another. We have all felt insulted by someone or felt like an injustice was done to us. When our feelings are hurt or some other injustice perceived, we have to let it go, resolve it immediately, forgive and move on, otherwise; resentment begins to build, soon followed by indignation, intolerance, hatred, and finally, seeking some form of revenge or restitution. What a trap. If we do not recognize offenses for what they are, not only can we have our joy stolen, but we also trap ourselves with our own lock and key.
Luke 17:1 Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
The spirit of offense can affect us on a daily basis. We have to choose not to allow people, words, or actions to offend us. After a period of time, if you consistently build on benefit of the doubt, tolerance, patience, understanding, and always allowing for human imperfection, you will begin to enjoy the people around you and even cherish their unique differences. Sometimes you may even find that you are amused at the very things that used to annoy you.
We need to learn how to release it and move on with God.
Mat 5: 23-24 states, Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
Jesus thinks so much about your relationships that He doesn’t even want your sacrifice until you mend your differences with your brother.
Unforgiveness is an acid in the container it dwells in.
Generally you will notice that people who constantly talk about their past probably have been badly hurt. They may have been in an abusive relationship, or had an abusive parent, or perhaps even been raped. Some may only have been hurt by a comment made against them - whatever it was - you have to let it go. It can literally kill you.
Forgiveness doesn’t make the person right – it sets you free.
Allowing offense to stay in your heart can stop your growth in Christ.
Take any offense you may have had in your life and right now take it to the Lord - get on your knees and ask Him to forgive you for harboring this offense - and then PRAY for that person. Even if you think you are not holding un-forgiveness in your heart. Ask God to search your heart and purge you from unforgiveness Prayer will change how you feel about that person and cause you to love them with God’s love (agape).
Naked and Not Ashamed,