DISCLAIMER: The Truth may offend you so, no offense!
DISCLAIMER: Flesh may offend you but no offense!
I want to have no offenses. I don't want to be an offense to the children of God. Woe to the one that offends one of these little ones, woe to the one that is a stumbling block. Woe to me if I offend you, but woe to you if this word offends you!
Whether it’s spirit or flesh, take no offense! Offense is one of the biggest problems in the body of Christ. Whether you get offended with the truth or with someone's flesh, offense will leave you on the fence. There are two types of offense. Some get offended by the word of God and some get offended by the flesh of man, by people who trespass against them. For both offenses, God has given two forms of defense. It’s simple, if you get offended with the truth, you need to repent. If you get offended with man, you need to forgive.
The beautiful thing about getting offended with the truth is it helps me know when it’s time to repent. If I take a razor to your skin and cut you, you will be angry with me. Just like in the Spirit, if I take the sword of the word of God to your flesh, you may get offended. Sometimes, it doesn't feel good. When the truth is preached and it hurts, that means there's flesh to burn. There's flesh that needs to be cut out still. When I cut out the flesh, there is nothing to hurt anymore. Now when the sword comes, there's nothing to cut because it has all been crucified. This is the life I now live, to be crucified with Christ, that the body of sin may be done away with. Crucifying the flesh may not feel good, but in the end, it brings the resurrection power of the new man.
Many have issues with leviathan because they have issues with being offended. If you are offended with the truth, you will get mad at the preacher. If you are offended with a person, leviathan will feed you more lies about that person and twist everything they say. Offense is a door to leviathan. The hard parts of our hearts are the offended parts of our hearts. Offense leads to resistance. You are resistant to the truth because you are offended by the truth. You are resistant towards a certain person when you are offended with that person. A direct sign that you are offended with somebody is when you get around that person, you feel bitter towards them or angry or annoyed by them. Forgive them! You are offended. We don't walk by our feelings but our feelings can be an indication of what is truly there. Think on things above, but if you’re still thinking about your brother, if you’re still thinking negative or feeling negative towards him or her, you’re offended! It doesn’t matter what they do or did. It’s God’s job to straighten them out. If you feel led, you restore them in a spirit of meekness and gentleness. Two choices: offense or forgiveness. Why do you think the Bible says to be compassionate and kind to one another, restoring one another? We need to long suffer with our brother or sister that is suffering.
How can we preach the truth in love if we can’t love the unlovable? How can we save the sinner if we can't forgive the sinner?
We need to be able to see bad things and not get offended. We need to see sin in the lost and even in the church but still love them. Especially when they sin against us and especially when it's people that are close to us. We can forgive easily someone in the world but when it is someone close to us, can you still forgive? Jesus was still able to love Judas even though He knew he was going to stab Him in the back later. The bride of Christ is full of blemishes and spots. Can you still love her even though she looks hideous right now? Can you still love her right now even though she is fornicating with other gods? Even if she sins directly against you? And personally attacks you? To have that love is to have a heart of forgiveness. The heart of a giver is to forgive. Don't just feed your brother, feed your enemies. You are a forgiver if you can still give to your enemies as if they were your brother.
You must forgive 77 times 7, and you will be forgiven 77 times 7. It doesn't matter how many times someone does something wrong. You need to see it but not let offense reign. Justice is the Lord’s; Vengeance is the Lord’s. He is the avenger of all evil, and He will avenge and purge out all evil. Every fox, every sin, that so easily entangles His people. It says if it be possible, live peaceably with all men. How can you be at peace when you are offended?
Most say, “I’m clean, I’m clean.” I don't do this; I don't do that. Yet they get offended every time someone does something wrong. Their brother sins against them, and they cannot forgive. Jesus said if our brother or sister sins against us, we must forgive them 77 times 7, and some of us can’t even forgive 7 times a day. Some of us, not even once. Flesh will offend you but woe to the one through whom offense comes. The Bible says bless those that curse you, but why are you still cursing those that curse you?
Just because you feel offended doesn't mean you have to be offended. Just because someone gives you an offense doesn't mean you have to take an offense. We want to deny ourselves, but when we get offended, we stop denying ourselves. We sometimes feel like we deserve to be offended because of how bad someone did something. Why do you think the Bible says to bear one an others’ burdens? Why do you think it says to have longsuffering? We have a flesh. We all have mistakes. Flesh will offend flesh. Yet you are in the Spirit, so why have you ended in the flesh?
You are in the Spirit, so why are you knowing man by the flesh? Know no man by the flesh and you won't be offended by flesh. The Bible even says, “Love overlooks an insult.” Most of us aren't even being insulted on a daily basis, and we still get offended. If you can’t even handle somebody's flaws or mistakes, how will you handle when persecution comes and they insult you and crucify you? Jesus was being crucified and He forgave them right on the spot. He asked His Father not to hold this offense against them! And they were committing arguably the biggest sin in history!
Most aren't even doing a smidge close to that and we can’t handle it still. There we are with offense, there we are with unforgiveness, that's what offense really is. You are still holding someone to what they have done when God says to let it go. Drop your stones all who are without stone! He is the only one worthy to stone anyone but yet He still has mercy. Even right now, He is giving the most wicked and vile people another breath to live! That's mercy! When they deserve to die on the spot, and He gives them another chance at life, that's merciful. That's what we are called to be like!
Can you forgive the false prophet? Can you forgive the wolves in sheep's clothing? Your Lord forgave those who killed Him. How about the worst of the worst, those who are shedding innocent blood, can you forgive them? Nobody is saying to overlook sin, don't think for a second that people won't be accountable to God. Yet forgiveness is not for a deserving person, it's for a free person. It's for someone who wants to be free. Unforgiveness, bitterness, hate, offense. It's all the same, and they bind you up. Forgiveness may not be freedom for the other person but it’s freedom for you. We don’t forgive because people deserve it, we forgive to be free. Unforgiveness is the root of hate, bitterness, anger, and offense. Uproot that and you uproot every negative thought and feeling that is acting like a dark cloud over your head.
Sometimes, someone does something so bad and we almost feel like we have a right to be mad, we have a right to hold it against them. We have no rights in the kingdom! Everything is yes and amen, Lord! Some people read the Bible verse, “Don't let the sun go down on your anger,” so they wait until bedtime to forgive. That's ridiculous! Be free now! Forgive so much that you already forgot it! Let God deal with your offenders and you pray for them! How can you pray for them when you are offended with them? Prayer for your enemies, but how can you pray for your enemies when you're offended with your enemies? When you still see your enemy as an enemy instead of seeing them as a lost soul in need of saving?
Sometimes, we get offended but the person may have been okay with God. If we don't forgive them, we will never see and we will think that something is there even though nothing is there. We try to find a speck in our brother's eye but we don't realize there's a plank of offense in our eye. Offense is like a blindfold. Most of the time when people offend us, we don't even realize that they are going through something or the enemy has bound them up. We let the blindfold of offense come over us, and we can't even see any more so that we would be no help to them. They were originally the problem, but you have made their problem another problem because now you're the problem. You were fine but then you let the enemy feed you the bait of offense and now someone's sin has made you sin! He cannot forgive us if we don't forgive everybody else. Forgive us AS we forgive those who trespass against us. Unforgiveness binds us up even to the point that the blood is of no effect for ourselves because unforgiveness keeps us from forgiveness.
Don't just drink the blood for yourself, drink the blood for your brother, for your sister, and long suffer! Bear their burden. Restore them in a spirit of meekness. Just because you forgive them doesn't mean they don't need to repent. Though you can be free and help them find the path of freedom. Drop the stone and pick up the phone. Give them a call and help them in their fall. We are called to the restoration business, to pick our neighbor out of the ditch. What many of us don’t realize is forgiveness is for our freedom. We think of it otherwise as in for the sake of our brother, but we don’t realize that we’re the ones hurting when bitterness still reigns. We’re the ones hurting when offense is in our heart. It’s to free you! The other person wrong is not excused. God will deal with them. Yet you have to be free or else the other person’s problems have just caused major problems in your life.
Forgive quickly or else you will be offended easily. Forgiveness is our defense against offense.
By Joe Pinto
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