“I am offended,” now what. Jesus spoke very specifically about offenses in Luke 17. “It is impossible that no offenses should come,” we are going to do something to offend someone around us. We live in a fallen world and we are fallen people. Our senses, thoughts, and emotions are all affected by the condition of SIN, we cannot escape the pain it brings.
We have expectations of others that we think they should be meeting and they fail, we are offended. We have relationships that we thought were safe from harm or injury and our trust is betrayed, we are offended. Offenses occur in every theater of our lives. Some offenses we write off and others are so destructive we cut off the injured limb and cauterize the wound. We recognize offenses to us easily, but we neglect the offenses we make.
Jesus warned, “woe to him through whom they(offenses) come!” We must strive to not bring offense to others. But when we do, we must deal with them well. Offenses are dealt with compassion, forgiveness and longsuffering. Just like the great God we serve deals with us, continual offenders of His holiness. We are forgiven much and are thankful for much. But, what of those that do not know yet the depth and the breadth of God’s forgiveness? What of those that do not know how to forgive well? What of those babes in Christ, those young children of God? It is cruel to cause a child to stumble as they learn to walk or have any kind of disdain for them. It is evil to put our needs and desires above those of a child who needs uplifting and encouraging. It is evil to offend such a child in Christ and cause them doubt in their faith. It is evil to never seek the ministry of reconciliation and to restore a relationship with forgiveness.
We do not know where others are at in their faith and must be mindful of that. We are going to offend, but do not continually offend. Have a willing heart to seek forgiveness or to forgive. Love others as the way God loves you. Love others the way you love God. Love others as you love yourself. Forgive offenses and seek forgiveness for your offenses. Help others to grow in their faith, do not hold them back or be held back yourself by offenses.
Until the Whole World Hears,