Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. “ (Luke 17:1)
All of us will be confronted with the issue of offense at some point in life. It is often the most difficult obstacle we will face and overcome. It is an unfortunate fact that many are offended and held captive. God wants to heal and transform individual lives, families, ministries, and nations from a spirit of offense by the spiritual truths from His Word.
Often those who are offended don’t even realize they are caught in a trap. They are oblivious to their condition because the are focused on the wrong done to them. The most effective way for the enemy to blind us is to get us focus on ourselves and the perceived wrong done to us.
Offense is a stumbling block! Offended people produce the fruit of hurt, anger, outrage, bitterness, jealousy, resentment, strife, hatred and envy. What are the consequences of picking up an offense? Insults, attacks, wounding, division, separation, broken relationships, betrayal, and backsliding. Instead of the unwanted fruit of offense, believers should be producing the fruit of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Gal. 5:22-23).
While I observe the unfolding world chaos, I’m reminded that Jesus said ‘offenses will come.” It’s not a question of when, but how will we respond when it comes. How we respond to offense will determine our future, not only as a people, but as a nation.
Years ago, I read a wonderful book by John Bevere, “The Bait of Satan” that helped me learn by God’s grace how to overcome offense. Satan along with his cohorts are subtle and delights in deception. Satan’s strategy is to set deceptive and deadly traps to devour you to stop you from walking in God’s truth. He is shrewd, cunning, and crafty. And don’t forget he can disguise himself as a messenger of light (2 Cor. 11:14). If we are not trained by the Word of God to divide rightly between good and evil, we won’t recognize his deceptive traps for what they are.
Peter tells us to, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Satan is our adversary, not our friend. Yet, in the most appalling and unwitting bondage, the whole world willingly “follows the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2).
When offense comes, and it will, it should have no landing strip to take root in your heart. Don’t allow your love to wax cold because of a perceived offense. Learn to forgive one another when offense comes “that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs (2 Cor. 2:11).
Ask the Father to reveal any offense that has. Taken root in your heart that hinders your spiritual progress. As the Spirit reveals the truth to you ask for forgiveness and forgive the one who may have hurt you (Col. 3:13).