Spirit of Offense
Is it just me or have you also noticed how easily offended everyone seems to be lately?
I encounter offended people everywhere I go: in my daily routine of business, at church, on the news coverage, even in family. The spirit is demonstrated through the countenance of faces I meet, through the words I hear spoken and the actions displayed. Fifty-three percent of marriages are being torn apart. Long-time friendships are tossed away. Family members haven’t spoken in years. Churches are divided and seeds of discord are continually sown among the brethren!
I am only forty-one years old, but I must confess that the spirit of offense seems to be at an all-time high in my lifetime. I went to the Lord about my concerns and He led me to Matthew 24: 3-14.
“And as HE sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to HIM privately asking, ‘Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world?’
And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in MY name saying I am the Christ; and shall deceive many. And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you be not troubled. For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and there will be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in different places. All these things are the beginning of sorrows. Then, they shall deliver you up to be afflicted and shall kill you; you shall be hated of all nations for MY name’s sake. And many shall be OFFENDED, and shall betray one another and shall hate one another! And many false prophets shall arise and deceive many. Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But, he that shall endure to the end shall be saved and this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations. THEN, the end shall come.”
This caliber of offense being demonstrated in our world today is surely a sign of Christ’s return. Notice that the scripture does not say, “many shall OFFEND”, but “many shall be OFFENDED.” You see, there is a huge difference. The word “offend” is a verb meaning to ‘transgress morally or lawfully causing hurt, difficulty, resentment or pain.' Jesus said in Luke 17:1 that it is IMPOSSIBLE that offenses will not come.
It is true that people often offend with motive, but then there are times that we offend without even knowing it. Example being - I could say something that was never meant to be offensive, but someone might still be offended. My choice of outfit might offend someone. My personality might be offensive in some way to another person. We all have the capacity to offend just simply by being WHO WE ARE! Jesus was an absolute perfect man, but many were offended by Him. Offenses will always come. We are never going to be able to stop nor control them. However, there is something you and I CAN control and that is the choice whether or not to take offense or be “offended” by anyone or anything. To be “offended” one must accept “offense”. There was a time in my life when I accepted offense. I can honestly say there were people who purposely chose to offend me and I could use the excuse that I had the "right" to be offended, but Jesus began to show me that I wasn’t hurting anyone but myself.
The word “offense” is a noun. Therefore, it is something we can take hold of. John Bevere states in his book, The Bait of Satan, that the word “offense” comes from the Greek word “scandalon” which literally means “the bait used to trap a wild animal”. Offenses come to trap us! They trap us with hurts, pains and sore attitudes which eventually steal our joy and hinder our relationships with God and others. The trap of offense will isolate you, alienate you from fellowship and strip you of your purpose.
What offense has left you alienated, stripped of purpose and left for dead? Is it an offense against someone else? Maybe it is even that you are offended with yourself? Perhaps your own choices have left you defeated and feeling like a failure, causing you to actually be offended at YOU. Lastly, could you admit today that you just might even be offended at God? Do you feel that HE has somehow let you down or disappointed you in this life?
What I want to get across to you today is this: the offense you are harboring is a trap! It is not hurting anyone else but YOU. Galatians 5:7-8 says, “You were running so well. WHO hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who called you.” This spirit of offense has come to kill, steal, and destroy you. It is hindering your progress and suppressing your joy in life. Choose this day to be free of offense. Choose this day to forgive...Forgive others! Forgive yourself! And ask God to forgive you for the bad attitude you’ve harbored against Him.
Slowly begin to speak these verses of scripture over your life:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12
May His Richest Blessings Rest Upon You,