Monday, May 28, 2012

Are You Offended?

I've heard it said that the enemy's greatest weapon against believers is offense. Think about it. Who in your life has offended you? How are you handling it? Do they even realize they have offended you?  I hate to think there is anyone out there who I have inadvertently hurt who is harboring resentment and anger toward me and I don't even realize it.

We can easily get offended and rather than confront the person with gentleness and a sincere desire for reconciliation, we harbor it, nurse it, talk to others about it and eventually it creates division and dissension. I shudder to think of how Satan must get so much perverted pleasure out of watching us do this to ourselves.  Our resentment and bitterness grows like a well-fertilized weed and it slowly chokes the life out of us.

Recently, I asked someone who deeply offended me to explain the situation from their perspective. Mind you, this is something that happened over a year ago...I've had it sitting in the back of my mind and on my heart for all that time only assuming things that may or may not be true. Instead of confronting the issue, I took my assumptions as truth. I made a huge mistake!

This person had no idea what they had done. None whatsoever. We chatted about it and this person said they completely understood how I could have perceived it to be the way I thought it was, but once I understood their perspective, I realized I was way off the mark. I've since asked forgiveness and we have reconciled but along the road of the past year or so I've been hurt, angry and resentful and all for no reason whatsoever.

Maybe that's why Satan enjoys this weapon so much? It's something that can destroy relationships, hurt feelings and corrode our love all with one fell swoop! It's like killing three birds with one stone. And unfortunately, it we fall for this trap very often.

If there is someone in your life who has offended you, ask yourself a couple of questions:

1) Do they even know they have offended you?  Usually, the person who has done the offending has no idea that they have done so, all the while, your anger and resentment are eating you alive. 

2) Have you repeated the offense to anyone else? (Proverbs 17:9 tell us that he who covers an offense promotes love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.)

3) Have you prayed about confronting the person in the spirit of love and reconciliation?

4) If you have confronted and are still offended, or you do not feel confrontation is necessary, could you consider overlooking the offense for the sake of love? 

It's time to get serious about this and stop this weapon of mass destruction from destroying our witness and creating division among us!

The Bible tells us that people will know we are Christians by our love. But it really does seem that the enemy is gaining ground in the church by using this dirty, under-handed weapon of offense.  After all, weren't we extended grace, though we were offensive to God? Romans 5:8 reminds us, "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners."

Since we have be shown grace, can't we show it to others? Will they know we are Christians by our love?


Denise said...

Great post, Leslie... so thought-provoking!!

Leslie Nease said...

Thank you Denise! :)

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