Offense is a tool of the enemy to get people ensnared with pride and unforgiveness. True followers of Christ should strive to change their world view and personal perspective from being easily offended to being dead to insults and offenses through the power of the Holy Spirit. We live in a time when people respond to difficulties and troubles in a manner that could show offence, resentment or a perceived self-importance, which they may consider the norm. Being easily offended is now not only considered as the rule in which people should react, but it is being cultivated as a preferred way to react to problems and struggles.
Offense is just a snare, a trap and a tool that the enemy uses against humanity to get them to react to situations out of hate and anger rather than according to God’s way of forgiveness, love and mercy. Those who walk according to this fallen world system not only operate in offense but some people will cultivate it as a means of bringing division and disunity for their own personal gain or agenda. They organize and encourage a spirit of fear, anger and hate as merchandize and market it for their ill-gotten or corrupt gain, be it money, status or fame.
Romans 16:17-18 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
Matthew 18:7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
Two words that are commonly translated to the word offense in the Bible are, Skandalizo: to entrap, trip up, stumble or entice to sin, and mikshowl: a stumbling block, obstacle, enticement, to cause to fall or ruin. Both of these terms speak of the harm and injury it causes to those who operate in offense. They areentrapped or enticed to sin and these are pitfalls that lead to devastation or a spiral downfall into ruin of one’s self. Offense is not something that harms the offender but enslaves the person who is offended into a continuous cycle of a feeling of resentment where that person believes that they have beeninsulted, attacked or assaulted by others.
Offense is driven by emotion that has its roots in self-importance, pride and unforgiveness. True followers of Christ should operate in faith according to the word of God and the example Jesus our Lord has set for us. Jesus speaks of those who are offended as those who have no root in God’s word within themselves. Many people are offended by the word of God when they lack an understanding of God’s kingdom ways or when things do not happen the way they want or in a way they do not understand.
The Bible teaches that we will see persecution and that there will be a constant test of our faith in God’s word. Those who have faith in God and know His word will believe He is faithful and will persevere to see the challenge to the end, where they will stand in victory. Those who do not know God or His kingdom ways lack an understanding of His word and when He speaks a hard saying they are offended because they choose to trust in their emotions and their experiences rather than in the love and faithfulness of God.
Mark 4: 16-17 These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble
John 6:60-61 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?” When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?
Not only are people of the world easily offended but those who know and love Christ are subject to offense also, when the pressure and onslaught of this world come and they find themselves in the crucible of life crushing trials. John the Baptist was the person that preached the coming of Christ and introduced Jesus to the world as the Messiah. Yet John questioned Jesus when he was facing death. John did not understand fully, God’s plan for his situations and hiscircumstances were not going the way he felt they should. This caused in him a moment of offense. John asked Jesus if He was really the One or will there be another? When people are in difficult situations it will sometimes cause them to question God’s love and His faithfulness to His word.
Jesus’ response to John’s question was to point to the word of God and the work of God being done for the salvation of men. Jesus did not try to justify Himself or to prove He was the Son of God but He pointed to the work of God and the word of God being revealed in the lives of the lost. Jesus told them to go tell John, the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, in other words God’s divine purpose and plan are being performed and lived out.
Jesus said, blessed are those who are not offended because of Me. Even though Jesus may not respond the way we want Him to or we may not understand the way God has chosen for ourparticular situation, we still trust God’s love.
Luke 7:20-23 When the men had come to Him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to You, saying, ‘Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?’ ” And that very hour He cured many of infirmities, afflictions, and evil spirits; and to many blind He gave sight. Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” NKJ
Jesus gave His disciples directions as how not to be offended, He spoke to them the word of God and told them the things that were going to happen. Jesus said these things were told them sothat they would not be offended when they happened and causethem to stumble.
The word of God is precious to true followers of Christ but to the world and those who are disobedient to God, the word of God becomes a stumbling stone a rock of offence. Some people will allow their offense to take precedence and rise above the word of God and will lead them into destruction. Some peoplewould rather live with their pride and indignation rather than to forgive and live-in love and harmony with their family or friends.
John 16:1-4 These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.
1 Peter 2:7-8 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
Many people are living in anxiety and stress because they have allowed offense of this world to be their steady diet and their daily sustenance which feeds them and keeps them in a constant cycle of distrust and hate. They are stumbling because they refuse to operate in forgiveness, love and according to His truth.
Great is the peace of them that love the word of God and live according to His kingdom principles and ways because they will not allow the offenses of this world to take root in their hearts or cause them to live in resentment and bitterness.
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have those who love Your law,And nothing causes them to stumble.
Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Jesus called those blessed, who are not offended because of Him. Those who are blessed of God have His favor, are called fortunate and well off. This is not to say they are without trouble but they know how to persevere through difficulties to see the salvation and the abundance of God.
We can choose to not be offended when we feel we are wronged by operating in God’s word. He speaks of our persecution but tells us to forgive.
Forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel and is the foundation and bedrock of how we are to live without being easily offended. When offense comes we can overcome it with the love and forgiveness of God through the power of the Holy Spirit.