Matthew 18:7 says, Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
Woe to that man by whom the offense comes? Woe to the person who does the offending? Do you even know what that word means? Some synonyms for woe are: Misery, sorrow, distress, wretchedness, sadness, unhappiness, heartache, heartbreak, despondency, despair, depression, regret, gloom, and melancholy.
This scripture does not make me feel good! I have zero warm fuzzies!
I have learned a lot about getting over being offended, but being the one who caused the offense? I have to admit, I’ve not given that much thought. Have I caused someone to be offended? Then the Bible says woe to me. Wretchedness, unhappiness, despair? No thank you! Even from a purely selfish standpoint, I don’t want to cause someone to be offended because I don’t want the woe to me!
So, what now?
Oh, Holy Spirit, search my heart. Search down deep in the dark corners where I’ve swept away my secrets and show me when I’ve been the offender. I repent of sin and ask You to forgive me. I ask You to show me when I’m causing offense in someone’s life, when I’m doing something that hurts them, whether it’s intentional or not. And I ask You to help me be more sensitive to what You may be trying to accomplish in someone else’s life.
I know I don’t have it all together and I’m a work in progress, but each time I get these little course corrections from my Father God, I’m getting better. If I weren’t growing, and if I didn’t have things to accomplish for Him, why would He waste His time?