Lord Help Me, I am OFFENDED!

Offenses. Okay, now this a topic that is all too relevant in today’s society. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we live in an overly sensitive era, however, we do live in a time where the words you use, the way you express yourself, or the way you live your life is readily judged by the next person. Whether it’s in regards to your professional life, your social life, or even your personal life – somebody will ALWAYS have an opinion of you, and at times, their opinions will offend you deeply. You could be trying your very best just to make it through the day and someone will point out that one mistake you made. *Offense*. Or even worse- you could be trying your best to raise your kids, keep food in the house, support your friends, be a listening ear to your spouse, and be a shoulder to cry on for everyone else – but when you ask others for help, you receive rebuke and chastising. This will not only offend you, but it will bruise your spirit.

Even in the church. There are well-meaning people who will think they’re telling you what you need to hear, but it may still hurt and offend you. Even if they’re right, it might not make it an easier to receive. Moreover, the offense could hurt you so bad, that it may even cause you to leave that church. Now the offense has now become a stumbling block and a potential stronghold.

Eric Adams from “Bible Study Tools” puts it like this: “two Greek words are translated “offense”: scandalon and proskomma. Both carry the connotation of “sinfulness” or “stumbling block.” (Adams, E.W., “Bible Study Tools”). See that?

But now on to the good part. I’ll share with you what God has taught me about dealing with offenses, especially as a Christian.

#1: Offenses WILL come. 

LOL! I’m sure you weren’t expecting that, but I said what I said.  Jesus said it too. In Matthew 18:7 Jesus is talking to His disciples about offenses.

“Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

Matthew 18:7 NKJV

Jesus makes it clear that you will be offended at some point in your life because this is a fallen world. This is especially important for us to note as Christians, because the cross of Christ is an offense to those who reject Jesus. So naturally, those people will desire to return the offense to you by tearing you down or slandering the name of Jesus. They want you stumble in your faith, so watch out! I believe that Jesus suffered offenses every day of His ministry here on earth- particularly from the Pharisees because they wanted to make Him stumble. Remember when they accused Jesus of casting out devils by the devil? (Matthew 9:34, 12:23). It doesn’t get much more offensive than that! And Jesus tells His disciples (paraphrasing), “if they called me Beelzebul, what do you think they will call you?” (Matthew 10:25). Jesus was putting His disciples on notice. Jesus was even offended by His own disciple, Peter, in Matthew 16:22-23 when Peter calls himself “rebuking” Jesus when he tells them about the things He is about experience concerning His death and resurrection.

#2: Offenses tell you about yourself. 

Have you ever been so offended by someone that all you can do is think about how to get them back? Or wishing that somehow they could feel the same offense you felt from them?

What if I told you that is simply not God’s way. Years before I got serious about my faith, any and every little ole thing would offend me. I mean, the moment I felt offended by someone, I would immediately find a way to return the offense. I was willing to slander, backbite, criticize, and demoralize people for the sake of my pride. As a result, I would lose friends, hurt family, miss out on opportunities, and ruin relationships. Then one day in 2018 I remember sitting in church and hearing Pastor Dwayne Freeman teach about offenses. He said something to the effect of: “when someone offends you, the devil will try to use it to off-end you. He will try to throw you off the course God was taking you on, and end the work God was doing in your life.” I was immediately convicted! So many times I’d allowed myself to be consumed with offense, that I was throwing myself off course and ending God’s work in my own life. See how the devil works? I was literally allowing myself to stumble over and over again. But when I decided to surrender every offense to Jesus, my whole LIFE changed. Instead of returning offenses, I started praying for those who offended me. I started blessing those who cursed me. I literally started asking God to heal me and them. I will confess that I gained freedom that year words could not express. And after I repented to God, I went back down the list of people that I, myself, had offended. I asked them for forgiveness and God was able to restore every single relationship I destroyed. And the biggest lesson of all was discovering the root of my offenses: Satan. Remember when I told you that even Peter offended Jesus, well do you remember how he responded to Peter? He said “get behind me Satan” (Matthew 16:23). Because Jesus knew it wasn’t anybody else but the devil influencing Peter. So I say the same thing when I am offended. Get behind me Satan. You gotta expose him and his tactics, every time.

“From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:21-23

#3: Offenses are Opportunities to Grow closer to God. 

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. What the Devil will use for evil, God can always turn it around for your good. Every offense is an opportunity for God to show forth His grace and mercy over your life. It can also be an opportunity for you to grow and be a blessing to others. If you find yourself becoming offended by something or someone, investigate it first. Talk to God about it. Don’t let your emotion overtake you. Think about it. Sit with it for a little time. If it hurts, cry about it, but overall, don’t stay there. Don’t try to find ways to rectify the offense. Surrender it to Jesus and let Him reveal the truth about it. He will deal with the offender, you just keep going. Pray, meditate on the word, then wash your face and drive on. There is nothing that happens in this life that God does not see. He always wants us to come to Him, so don’t waste any opportunity. He is a faithful and just God that loves you dearly. If you stick with Him through every trial and offense, He will surely continue to do incredible things in you and for you. When Jesus is preparing to return to the Father, He tells His disciples “be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). That, to me, includes the fact that He had overcome every single offense, be it verbal, non-verbal, physical or emotional.

It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household! Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” Matthew 10:25-27 

~ Carmen 🌞

https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/offense/ (Adams, Eric W.)

3 thoughts on “Lord Help Me, I am OFFENDED!

  1. Thank you for putting the spotlight on what offense does to us and for expressing how to deal with it . Appreciate this read much 😊🙏🏾🩶


  2. I LOVE the statement the Pastor made! It’s soo powerful and truth made known for the betterment of self! Amen👏🏾 🔥🔥🔥


  3. This was a good read. I’ve never considered that offenses WILL come. That helps with navigating them instead of trying to avoid them altogether.


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