Yes, me (you). We have all been there a time or two. Perhaps we are still there. I am angry at something someone said...or didn't say. I was suddenly unfriended or denied friendship access on Facebook. I tweeted or text someone and they did not respond. The possibilities of offense are limitless. No matter how great or small. Everyday we have the opportunity to become offended.
Offense can be divided into 2 categories:
1: those who HAVE been treated poorly
2: those who THINK they have been treated poorly
Most of us linger in Category #2. Our thoughts are darkened by Satan's schemes. Jumping to conclusions. Judging on hearsay, assumption and without facts. Running to social media to let everyone know that you THINK you have been done wrong. Where does that get us? In an even deeper emotional offended mood. Right?
Harboring offense produces feelings such as: Hurt, jealousy, strife, anger, envy, bitterness, outrage, resentment, hatred. Have you ever experienced any of those when you are offended? How about when you do not deal with your offense and allow it to sit? You begin to see that persons every move. "oh my gosh...I can't believe she posted that!" "Oh my gosh how come..."
If you have been offended, it most likely is from someone that is very close to you. Why? Because we trust them the most. We give them the most deepest part of us...our heart. Recently I sat down and made a list of people that I felt had offended me. At the end I was horrified to see that my list was longer then 5 names. Why because those were all people that I love dearly. In some sort of way I felt that they had failed me in an area. (again category #2) After much prayer and deep study of the word...I realized I was being selfish. Lord, I know that was a hard one for me to swallow. Me selfish? I had given so much to those people on my list...hadn't I? What I wasn't giving was forgiveness. I was hanging on to that thought of being offended.
When we are hanging on to offense we are hindering Gods blessings on our life. God tells us if we come to him in prayer, and we have any transgressions with another. We are to stop right there and go back and make it right. He will not pour out blessings on a darkened heart. Being angry and offend with someone surely is not a healthy heart of God. Want that new promotion at work? Want your marriage restored? Want financial blessings? God wants to give it to you...but first he want us to clear our heart of offense. Mind Blowing for me. No wonder why I had been stuck in such a spiritual rut.
15 “If your brother (friend/disciple) or sister sins (offends) ,go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over...
Jesus wants us to reconcile . As difficult as it may be (and it will be) seek that person with a heart full of love and forgiveness. And forgive...as many times as they need it. Jesus doesn't want us to keep track of how many times we forgive someone for something (Matthew 18:21-22) How many times has he forgiven us for the same sin?
I feel like this has been a real revelation for me. I am a sensitive person. I get upset and worked up over the slightest eye roll. So learning to deal with being hurt and allowing myself not to get offended has been a struggle. I purchased the Book, Bait of Satan by John Bevere. I have just about finished the whole thing. It has been such an amazing resource for me. Being offended is a feeling that I am slowly getting a hold of. I want Gods favor and blessings upon my life and the lives of my family members. Now when I listen to others talk about how wrong someone treated them and I want to just shake them. GET OVER IT! Do not allow yourself to get to where I was.
I encourage you to make a list as I did...of people that you feel have offended you. There is no limit on how many to write. After you have your list I want you to pray for that person. Trust me it will feel forced at first. But the longer you do it, you will want to continue to do it. This my friend is the start of a changed heart. Surely you will see the favor of God upon your life.
Lord, give us the wisdom to see when Satan is on the prowl in our relationships. Open our eyes, sharpen our ears and guard our tongues so that we do not speak any offense to those around us. Cleanse our hearts of any hatred, anger, jealousy or resentment that holds us captive from past offenses. Protect our heart for any future offenses that will surely try and sneak into our hearts. Make our hearts vulnerable so we can love unconditionally. Amen.
Psalms 139:24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.