What makes people offended at the most trivial matters?
Pride often causes us to be offended. Pride has its root in self and the Bible tells us to die to self; a dead man can never be offended.
King Saul chose to be offended by David, the warrior, because David had killed more people than he had. Could it be pride that caused Saul to be offended?
Proverbs 18:19 says, “An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city…”
The result of taking an offense is not being able to yield. Once we are offended we are in Satan’s trap and he has us conquered. Offense in itself is destructive and is always looking for sympathetic ears. The result? Many people are now offended. That is just what the intention of the enemy is, and this is how churches and families are split.
People who are easily offended are touchy. They easily work themselves into a state of anger and turn into master criminal investigators against the one who offended them. Their touchiness permits no probing into their own role in the offense and they refuse to look at the other side of the coin.
Offense will always color our thinking and it becomes impaired, just like a driver who is driving under the influence of too much alcohol until he finally crashes and hurts himself or others.
Could it be that feeling offended means only one thing: a person cannot forgive? And that means poison will permeate your thinking. It is nothing less than a heart that is closed off.
The wonder of the story of Joseph in the Bible was that he could love and forgive his brothers after all they did to him. When he saw them, he did not accuse them even once. He protected and gave them their livelihood.
Years ago, I started to write my own life journey for my grand kids. When I started, I just felt I had to tell about a person who had so offended and wronged me. Then God reminded me of the life of Joseph. I was overwhelmed with his attitude toward his brothers who wanted nothing more than to kill him out of jealousy and envy; they were offended with Joseph. Consequently, I still have to honor the person who had wronged me instead of exposing him.
Offense is an assault on love. When we get trapped by offense, we can be sure we have destroyed love.
When I think of Jesus and how deeply He could have been offended, I realize He would not have been able to go to the cross to carry our offenses had He given in to offense. He pushed through the offense and abuse and pursued love to give us life.
Below is a copy of a horse painted by my favorite contemporary artist in Chili, Ximena Aguilera.
The horse has been in a state of anger and offense, but is now turning one-hundred-eighty degrees, into the direction of love and forgiveness and is no more offended at the world’s circumstances. She is headed for a life of a conqueror.
I can hear Jesus say, “My desire for you is to follow in My footsteps that have never stepped into sin with its destruction and offense. You do not have to walk this path on your own. Hold My hand and I will gently lead you through the unknown with its pain and torment. I will grace you with endurance to forgive over and over again, until you become a living fragrance of love and radiance.”
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