Monthly Archives: November 2011
Matthew 18:7 (NKJV)
Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
Ladies and gentlemen, let me make this clear to you, people are going to hurt you!
In the last couple of blogs, we have been looking at what happens when you ‘miss’ it: how people handle mistakes you’ve made in the past and how you handle it. In this blog, I want us to look at what you do when people offend you. In Matthew 18:7, Jesus said offenses must come, meaning it is necessary that offense come. For some of us, anytime we get offended, we look for the easy way out – flight. But, if you constantly flee from offense, you are running from the very thing God wants to use to transform you.
Searching for a place where no one will hurt you sounds appealing, but it is a waste of your precious time. One of the reasons the church is stuck in some bad habits and juvenile adolescence is an attitude that says “I don’t have to take this – I am leaving for some place where everybody will coddle me and no one will hurt me.” You are not Raymond on the sitcom Everybody loves Raymond.
No matter how hard you pray, God is not going to remove offense from your life so you have to find the right tools to deal with and handle it right. While you are praying to avoid adversity and offense, God is orchestrating the circumstances of your life to bring you into environments so He can build your character, perseverance and confidence.
If you can’t handle a simple first-grade offense, don’t expect a graduate-level life! In Christendom, this is the system of promotion – to whom much is given, much is required. If you are going to go higher, the first thing you’ve got to learn, is to turn opposition and offenses into thanksgiving and forgiveness.
Abraham Lincoln said “We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.” So remember offenses must of a necessity come. He didn’t say it may come, He said it is necessary that they come. It must come. So the issue is not whether they will come or not, the issue is how do you deal with them when they come? You will be offended, will you take offense? Or you are too big to take offense? The burden of proof is with you. Maybe you have heard the expression “fight or flight”. In a spiritual sense it means you can dig your heels in and fight the devil or you can turn and run. Most people RUN. What are you going to do? You can deal with, learn from and move beyond offense.
I’ll leave you for now. If we don’t meet again, I’ll see you at the dinner table in Papa’s house.