Nothing shall offend them? What the what? I’m almost offended just thinking about that. How can that be in the Bible? How can that be true? Have you seen what people do to each other? Have you seen what Christians do to each other?
I’ve been in and around ministry my entire life, I have seen it all, the good the bad and the ugly, and everywhere in between. I’ve seen my family hurting, and I’ve seen them hurt each other. I’ve worked in ministry, I’ve worked in the world, I’ve attended public schools, I’ve attended christian schools. I’ve attended a secular university, I’ve attended a christian university. I have lived all over the USA. Let me tell you, I have seen a LOT. But what all these things have in common is people. And people hurt each other and people get offended. And no good ever comes of it.
Offense breaks up homes, marriages, friendships, it sneaks into relationships like poison and does its stealthy work. Let’s expose it and expunge it. This is a hard lesson to learn, a bitter pill. I have had some experience with it, but I still have lots and lots to learn. It’s amazing how many opportunities come for me to practice.
First of all, you can’t say nothing will offend you until you do the first part of the scripture, and that is to love His law. That means to love the Word of God, to spend time planting it in your heart, to study it, mediate it, and make it a part of your soul. When you get a revelation of His Word in that area, then you have the authority to stand up and say, no! I love the Word of God and I have great peace and I will not be offended. Then it takes a conscious choice, an act of the will to say, no, I choose to forgive that person, I choose to let that go and not be offended.
A dear family friend, Pastor Larry Ollison wrote a book that literally changed my life. It’s called “Breaking the Cycle of Offense.” When I started to grasp what it really meant to live a life without offense, I can’t tell you the freedom it brought me. I do not get offended. It’s a great place to be really. There’s such freedom in just letting it go!
No doubt we will all have opportunities to get offended today, whether it be a big thing or a small thing, but I challenge you to go look up that scripture and let it sink down into your heart. It’s a whole lot more fun to walk through life without dragging along all of your offenses.
Now, after I have preached this to you all, and to myself, tomorrow I am going to give you an opportunity to give it a shot! Stay tuned.