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)
As I observe the reactions of people to the Covid-19 pandemic requiring they wear face coverings or abstain from certain types of gatherings of more than 50 people in some states, the rise of racial tensions and political rhetoric on social media, I can see one of the enemy’s most deadly and deceptive traps.
What is it? A spirit of offense. It imprisons countless Christians, as well as unbelievers, severs relationships, and widens the existing breaches between us. It is the trap of offense.
Many are unable to function properly because of the wounds and hurts that offenses have caused in their lives.
The possibilities for offense are as endless. The American media and social media constantly reports incidences where people have become offended for many different reasons.
Satan is the god of this world who blinds the minds of those who believe not. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor. 4:4) The Bible is very clear that in the last days men will be “lovers of themselves” (2 Tim. 3:2). We expect this in unbelievers, but Paul was not referring to those outside the church in 2 Cor. 4:4. He was talking about those within it. Many are wounded, hurt, and bitter, even in the church. They are offended! But they do not realize that they have fallen into Satan’s trap.
As a nation, we fall short of God’s grace when bitterness is allowed to take root in our hearts. Many are defiled when the root of bitterness spreads. “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:15
Years ago, I had to learn how to watch out for this trap in my own life. If not careful to forgive those who offended me I would have been trapped in the offense. It would have imprisoned me with a root of bitterness. Bitterness is ugly. We can see how the root of bitterness has spread across this nation. Social media is inundated with people expressing their discontent and it spreads like wildfire.
Jesus made it very clear that it is impossible to live in this world and not have the opportunity to become offended. Yet most believers are shocked, bewildered, and amazed when it happens. They believe they are the only ones who have been wronged. This response leaves them vulnerable to a root of bitterness. Therefore we must be prepared and armed for
offenses, because our response will determine our future.
As we walk in the light, the glory of the Lord will rise upon the Church.