The Spirit of Offense - Part 2
We have no control over what someone else does TO us, but we DO have control over whether or not we are going to allow their offense to trap us and keep us from the destiny God designed for our lives.
When we choose to “take offense” we accept the bait that Satan strategically places before us and we walk directly into his trap! His trap is always hidden and disguised.
As we “take offense” we focus so much on what has been done to us, on the hurt and anger and the constant replaying of the offense that we do not even realize the trap of bitterness, self-pity, and unforgiveness we walk in.
You may say, “In what ways am I trapped?”
#1 - The trap of offense will keep you from spiritual growth and service.
Just like a trapped animal in an iron cage, an offended person lives and moves, but he/she is unable to make advances toward accomplishing God’s unique plan and purpose for their life. As prisoners, we become emotionally trapped...trading joy, peace, and confidence for anger, bitterness, and a critical spirit.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above everything else, Guard your heart. For out of “it” flows the issues of life.” As you well know, our emotions control our actions. If satan can keep you trapped emotionally, he can then keep you from advancing physically and spiritually.
#2 - Trapped people build thick walls!
Proverbs 18:19 says, “A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.”
This verse tells us that it is easier to conquer an entire walled city than it is to make amends with an offended brother or sister in Christ because their walls are fortified with contentious arguments:
> I have a right to be mad!
> You have no idea what I’ve been through
> When you go through what I’ve been through then we can talk!
> They ruined my life!
> No one will ever hurt me again! “I” will make sure of that!
Behind these thick walls facts are skewed, information is twisted, and reality is often ignored. ONLY THOSE who can be trusted to agree with and justify their arguments are trusted inside these walls.
#3 - Trapped people are blind!
1 John 2:11 says, “He that hates his brother walks in darkness and has no idea where he is going because that darkness has blinded him.”
Behind these fortified walls, truth is not welcome! The absence of truth brings darkness. Somehow, we are clearly able to see the offenses, faults, and failures of others, but become blind to our very own glaring faults. Offended and trapped people develop extremely critical spirits and soon begin to engage themselves in anger, strife, gossip, and the sowing of seeds of discord.
Blindness keeps us from recognizing the sea of bitterness and unforgiveness that has so engulfed us and separated us from the presence of God. It is true, my friend, unrepented sin does separate us from God.
#4 - Trapped and Offended people are often idolatrous!
Now, you may be thinking this is a bit harsh, but listen. A few years back in one of my counseling sessions for a married couple I had a husband say this about his wife: “She cannot remember where she put her keys five minutes ago, but she can recall every detail of an offense committed against her 25 years ago!” Wow, that really opened my eyes! And God showed me this...When people allow their painful past resentment and bitterness to replace their present affection and devotion to God, then their state of offense becomes an IDOL!!!
One woman, who was grossly betrayed by her husband was asked, “What would you like to see done to your husband? To which, she replied, “hell will do!”
Often we cannot or simply will not trust God to take care of our offender as He deems necessary. Vengeance means more to us than trusting God! We want our offender to pay and we want them to pay now, according to our terms!
“When the offense means more to you than restoration, it has become an idol in your life!”
In the past weeks, my family has suffered great physical damage at the hands of an unstable, angry soul. We had every right and every means to seek revenge and cause this person life-altering consequences. After calming down and praying heavily we decided to leave this war to our God! Not only that, but the precious Holy Spirit has even given me the desire to pray for this person. I trust God to restore to my family what has been taken.
In closing, Romans 12:18 commands us, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." This is the road we chose and therefore our joy,peace, and favor remain. Take time this week to clean out the closet of your soul. Get rid of old offenses that weigh you down and trap you. Be free! I say - "Be free to live, love and serve joyfully."
Blessings In Him,