And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved
I don’t want to remember how many times I have been offended and cringe at the thought of how many times I might have offended someone and didn’t know I had. Never the less it happens sooner or later I am going to get offended. Feelings are going to be hurt relationships destroyed, trust betrayed. Being offended is not something that’s not going to happen to us or we are every going to keep from happening, its something we want to be prepared to handle . When we are offended we produce this kind of fruit ,bitterness, hurt, anger, outrage, strife, envy and other fruit we would not find tasteful. We then start backbiting, gossiping, insulting people and break off relationships, make rude comments and betray one another.
All of this creates division among acquaintances, friends and lovers. Our minds wonder and our hearts are deceived. The trap has been laid. We are now in its grasp. It is painful and hurts. The danger is that as a rule it is a bunch of small traps or offenses that mount up over time and have the opportunity to fester and become sour in our hearts and minds that get to us. This will always come about by pride. We say I handled that I am not offended everything is in control. That is the first lie. It’s a stealth affect its like taking sand and throwing it against something, over time it will cut deep grooves into solid rock nothing can stop it.
Then there is the sledge-hammer upside the head offense . It takes us out in one blow. Immediately every emotion we have comes into play and we begin to justify why we are right and they are wrong, pride has us again.
An offending spirit is the worst enemy of the Christian man or woman out there today. It is the single most denied thing by man and woman that satan uses against the body of Christ and almost all of us do nothing about it or give it very little audience . Why? Pride. We don’t want anyone to know we are not super Christians or that we have been offended. It is a sign of weakness. Heck we don’t even want to talk about it. If we don’t talk about it then it will go away right? Pride.
The first thing an enemy of ours will do to us is divide us. Being offended does that. It’s a lot easier to conquer when there are fewer standing that are healthy. We might say aw! come on its not that big of deal. Remember the sand against the rocks, a little at a time. Our enemy is subtle and a conniving liar as well as a deceiver. Offending spirits will conquer us because they divide us and harm us leaving us unhealthy if not destroyed .(The battle is of the mind and the spirit not of this world. ) It takes years to heal broken relationships from an offending spirit if you are not prepared and let pride rule your heart.
Towards the end of this world many will be offended, remember the scripture up above. This is prophecy . Isn’t it happening a lot more these days? So why are we surprised? why the pride?, why the attitude of it’s no big deal? Most likely because satan is playing us like a soft melody. So soft we don’t or want hear it. Offended? Someone has hurt our feelings, some one has made us mad, someone is not playing fair, So we are crippled because of it, not affective, living in fear, bitter and ready to give up. Jesus has warned us. It is real. Take a closer look at whats going on.
There are four types of love Agape,Phileo,Storge,Eros Friends have a phileo type of love it is conditional, you do for me I will do for you. You be kind I will be kind. Agape love is not conditional . It’s the love God has placed in the hearts of a Christian. It gives whether or not it gets or not. Even when it has been rejected and offended. Has our Agape love grown cold and we love like the world does today. Jesus said many Christians love would. When we sow love in the spirit instead of our flesh then we are not expecting something back. We are doing it with a Agape love. When we sow like this we reap the love of God we need to practice this type of spiritual law so that our faith is built up. It might not come from the field you sowed it in or even right away, but I assure you it will come. Jesus said it would. http://biblehub.com/galatians/6-8.htm.
At the end of His life on earth all of Jesus’s friends had betrayed and left him and one followed from afar. Yet he forgave them with His Fathers love. He had faith in His Fathers love. Knowing that because of this they would love Him and many sons and daughters would love Him. He freely loved and forgave asking nothing.
It’s a set up for us when we have expectations out of someone and then if they don’t meet them we are offended. Someone offends and they are immediately cut off until we get what we think we deserve. The bigger our expectations the bigger the offending spirit we have and the longer it will take to get over. So why don’t we quit expecting so much from folks? Be a giver instead of a taker. A servant to others instead of looking to be served. Why don’t we wash someones feet for them?
Are we keeping score? I served its their turn. I try all the time its their turn. When we have reached a place where we have read the word and know the word we need to apply the word. We need to live in the freedom of the word of God. Jesus was warning us in Matthew 24;10-13. Quit letting this offending spirit rule over our lives . Love with a Agape love instead. Love first, Love anyway. This will take practice that’s why we are to do it. So we get to practice on each other (Christians). It’s easy to love the lovable or at least its suppose to be. What about the un-lovable ? If we can’t love one another we have no faith. When we offend other Christians we offend God. Why? They belong to the body of Christ as all Christians do. So therefore it offends God. I might add it also is like a cancer that if left unchecked spreads throughout the body of Christ. Offending one another is a big deal.
So how do we get to that place of not being offended? We won’t get there. It’s in the world. Its sin and brokenness. We all have sinned and fell short of the Glory of the Lord. If a man says he has not he is a liar. So that should make most Christians more comfortable about sinning. That is why Jesus paid the price. Our place is to keep practicing not sinning. We will get better at it as we go along. When we get offended get over it (quick ). Don’t expect so much from one another . Serve one another. Remember being offending and offending others is sin. Practice makes perfect. I could write a book on Christians being offended there is so much wrapped around it.
My desire for us in closing and my hope is that I have made enough of an impression upon us that we would look into this topic of being offended and offending others and take it seriously . I intend to do just that.
Father I ask you to forgive me for anyone I might have offended knowingly or unknowingly. I ask for forgiveness from anyone that reads my blog if I have offended you in any way. I forgive you as well. Lord that we would live in peace and love with one another, so that the world would know we are yours. Father that we might have favor with the lost and patience with those of us that are still coming along in our walk with you. Lord help me not to expect so much from my brothers and sisters across this world I live in, but always to be ready to encourage and uplift them . Father I ask for strength and courage for all of us to stand and that you would send us opportunities to increase our faith in you. In your precious name I pray.
All my Love Tom
Tom – beautiful! From start to finish! I am a gape!! 🙂
The Lord is walking me to different “stalls” in a great field of stalls. Each one we stop and look at. And when I look back I see love. Pure and simple.
And with hindsight I look back and see The Law infused with love. The Law I see as Love. Because love comes not just with fuzzy feelings – love comes with great demands and expectations. Increasingly love is becoming all there is – all that is needed. Love demands we be not offended. Love expects we give no offence. But love is like anything else. Only a word and a label unless we get inside it, explore it, test it, practice it, become it.
Which is why I love your writing and these words. They do all of that, they allow all of that, they are all of that.
Years back I came into contact with a concert pianist of great renown (I have no idea who he was – then or now). He was feted and adored. He filled concert halls. And he freely admitted playing bum notes. He knew when he had played a bum note. He knew he always would. And he had no shame, guilt or fear of bum notes. They simply came with his joy and gift of playing. And he had to play!
Your words brought back that memory. We must accept we will play a “bum note” every now and then in this “gift of love”. And having no guilt is necessary. Having no fear is necessary. But playing – and playing with joy … that IS necessary!
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Walking in love for one another. As Cate so graciously shared we are only human, just dust. Like the pianist we will make mistakes. Just be sure of who is yanking are chain and causing us problems. He is subtle and quite. The author of confusion. You got a beautiful heart my brother God loves that about you and do do I.
Peace and joy
Together in One.
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Hi Tom – great post. I think on these things often. I get offended – some times more than others. For. 13 – the Love words – says love does not take offense – it is not resentful – when I’m offended it tells me I do not have enough of His love in me – I know, as humans, this will always come at us – but I am trying to love more – to BE loved more. 😀
Thank you for this loving post.
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Bless your heart Cate. Cate don’t you think that when we know we need to change. This brings the biggest change in us of all. I believe you are on the right track. We are human. A willing heart will always have God’s favor. Your comment was so precious to Jesus and me. God bless you for sharing this.
Much love Tom
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Great post! I was thinking that we love because He first loved us–and that the best antidote for easily taking offense is throwing our hearts wide open to HIS love. Hanging out in HIS love. Understanding, drinking, receiving, swimming in HIS love. Then we become more like Him and the love words in 13 are more natural. But like Paul says, we’re all going to play a bum note sometimes, so when we offend or are offended, it’s a good time to return for more love. Then we can also offer more love. We can’t give away what we don’t have, right?
God has worked with me on this again this year. I was offended by some lies told about my son. Oh how quickly I turned to legalism and judgment toward the party who was gossiping. Then the Lord asked me to look at my own pride . . .
Paula I have eagerly read every response about this post, anticipating the small voice that would speak to me. If there is offence in my heart what brings it on. One thing I have to say is a person that is super sensitive is easily offended. I am weak in this area of my life and in order for me to love like Jesus wants me to I have to allow the Holy Spirit to help me become stronger in this area of my life. I am so happy to read all these responses they are a great encourgment to me. Love is always the answer.
Joy to you
Joy to you sweet friend. I too am super-sensitive. As I have grown in understanding how unconditionally I am loved by God, not because I am perfect or performing well or obedient, but just ’cause . . . I don’t get my feelings hurt quite as quickly. But as I mentioned earlier, I am not without my own struggles with offense and pride . . .
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Oh your loving on me a bunch. You touched my heart with your kindness Paula. One of your lovley gifts God had given you is the gift of encouraging others. It’s really cool because this is exactly the way I have been looking at myself more and more. God just loves me cause he does. I am finding my value in him not in others. As my lovley wife Carolyn said to me at breakfast this morning after reading my post. Tom when we don’t expect so much from others it frees then up to live. Expectations hurt relationships. She is a wise and lovley woman. Paula thank
you for being the light in my life today. I am so blessed with kind people here on wordpress.
Grace and peace to you my friend
Tom, the most humble can have moments of being cut down by pride when remarks or actions cut us to the core. It is those times, when we have a moment of thinking we are all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips, we need to remember we are a creation, we have been touched by grace, and we are a beloved son or daughter of God – and so is the person who “committed” the offense.
We must rely on love, not pride; love, not payback; love, not resentment. Love transforms our hearts and minds. Love forgives a multitude of transgressions. And…love is always the answer.
Amen Susan. Words of wisdom. Oh Lord for the grace to love more. Wonderful advice. Thanks for your kind comments Susan.
Much love Tom
Tom, I’m thrilled that I’ve encouraged you. You are an encourager, too! And, btw, right after this post? I got offended. Ugh! But this time it was wrapped around emotion that was coming from other stuff. Thankfully I was able to pray through it instead of having a conflict with the person who hurt me. My post today was based on something that was pretty emotional for me. I’d love to share a little with you and your wife and ask for your prayers, but it is not something I can put on the internet. So . . . if you want, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to get you and Paul and your sweet wife in on the prayer support.
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Sent our email Paula.
Thank you, Tom. One of the lines in your prayer says it all–“Lord help me not to expect so much from my brothers and sisters across this world I live in, but always to be ready to encourage and uplift them.” There’s so much pain and sorrow out there. And often in us. We need each other as allies. May God help us!
You are so welcome Elouise. and you are right about so many Christians hurting. One of the difficult things about Christians hurting is that most are in denial about it and will not talk about it little alone admit they have issues. You are so right when you say we need each other. The Lord wants us to talk to one another and encourage and pray for one another. We have to keep our walk with Christ real with Him and other Christians. I loved your comment it really is the truth and a very refreshing thing to hear, is the truth.
Much love Tom