One particular evening as I walked under God’s star studded canopy, I pondered the seeming rash of “offended-ness” that I had been experiencing. I was concerned about my very negative responses. I knew there must be a better way. I took the opportunity to “discuss” it with the Lord.
The outcome of this “discussion” was very pronounced…there is absolutely no benefit or advantage, of any kind, to me or anyone else in harboring any degree of offense. Regardless! It is better in every way for me to choose forgiveness and grace than to choose to be offended. I should never take up an offense. The enemy of our souls (the devil) would have us believe that we are justified in being offended He wants us to believe that the “I’ll show them” will give us the victory . Oh, the feeling of empowerment and energy that comes with offense. The truth (which the devil never discloses) is that the offense only inhibits my forward movement. It inhibits my ability to receive from God (forgiveness, discernment, direction – a host of things) and the offense keeps me in turmoil on the inside instead of being filled with the righteousness, peace and joy of God’s kingdom. The devil only wants to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10) in our lives, using any avenue, and offense is one of his prime tools.
If you have been experiencing a lot of offense in your life, let me suggest that you take a moment to contemplate the gravity of the matter and grasp the truth of God’s word. Offense does us NO GOOD at all, in any way. It only hurts you – and others I might add! We must resist being offended. You may think it is impossible with you, but with God all things are possible. (Mark 10:27) God’s grace, power, and involvement is our only hope for overcoming and finding victory.
You might want to say this prayer that I prayed. “God, I give You _____ (the specific offense). Take it from my heart and mind. Give me a willingness to let You have it in exchange for Your forgiveness and grace to apply to the situation. I want to choose forgiveness and grace every time. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen”. David often said, “The Lord has given me the victory.” He knew His Redeemer was able and he depended on God’s power for many kinds of victories.
God will empower you to choose forgiveness and grace over offense if you will just ask. That, my friend, is where you’ll find great benefit and advantage – in every way, every time !
Well said. The more we harbor spite in our heart, the more we pour out bitterness onto others. I pray for our hearts and minds to be strengthened through this article and his truth.
Amen, Renee, and thank you.
I find this one (as I do a few others) a fine line that I need to constantly seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance. As Christians I think we get ‘beat up’ with our message of love and forgiveness.- Not that we shouldn’t forgive, but I think there just are some things that we have good reason to be offended. It’s all in how we react and deal with our individual offenses that is what we should be concerned about….and THAT is ALL about listening to the Holy Spirit.
Amen, Renee. Thank you.
Well, that went to the wrong person. Sorry. I don’t know how to undo.
Here is your reply, Melinda. It is always good to seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance for anything, anytime. But I still feel God was impressing up me the laying down of self by not taking up offense. It’s really humbling when one gives up the “right” to be mad and indignant (like Jesus did repeatedly – except for the money changers in the temple). It seemed like a real loss to me to even contemplate the laying down of my right to be upset and mad and that “get even” feeling, but it would make me more like Jesus in the bottom line truth of it all. He is my example on my “ideal” days. God bless you. Thank you for the comment.
Hi Stephanie, Great article! Forgiveness is so important. I did a great Bible study with our group on the book “The Bait of Satan” by John Bevere. It is an excellent study. It is about ‘Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense.’ (The 10th Anniversary Edition has a devotional supplement bible study included at the end). If you haven’t read it yet, I recommend it. He stresses the importance of forgiveness and it is worthwhile to read. God bless.
Thank you for the specific suggestion, Susan. When I get a handful of free moments, I will look up the book. I would like the additional insight of someone much more experienced than I am.