To be offended as defined by the oxford dictionary is to nurture “resentment brought about by a perceived insult or disregard for oneself”.
Offence: like betrayal, from observation, cannot happen if there is no relationship between the parties involved. Many of us do not realise that Judas was very close to Jesus. It takes people close to us to betray us and ultimately, offend us. When offence ensues, it is usually as a result of trusting someone who mismanages the information we give them. It could also be a result of pride stemming from a mindset of baseless entitlement (which is not today’s context).
Act 24:16 (NKJV) “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offence toward God and men.
The people that offend us often do not know that they did so. They will be long gone but the effect of their actions will leave us rehearsing in our minds how best to punish them.
Now it is human to be angry or even offended (Gal 5:20) however, the divine man should through his walk with God, be immune to an offence.
How to deal with an offence:
- Ephesians 4:26- 27 (NKJV) “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Offence gives a place in our souls for the devil to manipulate us. The offence does more harm to us than to the person who caused it. If the devil enters as a result of an offence, be sure that it will not end well. Offence is the leverage the devil has over us to hurt us: fooling us to think we are hurting the causers of the offence.
- Mark 11:25 (NKJV) “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. A proof that you have been truly forgiven by God and you have experienced salvation from God, is the forgiveness you show towards men. Hurt from offence is a real burden and a major stressor in our walk with God. It clouds our judgement. Forgiveness frees us: we are not angry birds (see what i did there? lol).
- Matthew 16:23 (NKJV) But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Having prayed for them: like Jesus, put them in the position where they cannot offend you. Note: Jesus had already prayed for Peter (Luke 22:31–34) because he knew the devil would put up some drama through him. Learn to pre-approve people for forgiveness but be wise enough to keep them from offending you.
Matthew 26:41(NKJV) “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We usually refer to this scripture when we are referring to ‘sexual sins’ or prayerlessness. This scripture cuts across everything that can cause us to stumble. So ‘watch’ (be preemptive and clairvoyant, making sure nothing or no one offends you) and ‘pray’ that you have no cause to retain offence in your heart.
Offence turns us into ‘blind Christian witches’ that are desperate for revenge. To forgive as written by Alexander Pope is truly divine.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I cast my cares on you this moment. Please help me forgive all those who have offended me.
In honour of Alexander Pope (21 May 1688–30 May 1744)