Don't Get Offended

Does any one out there have trouble with offense? Isn't it easy to get offended. Think about it. If you counted you would probably have ten chances every day before lunch. On the road, at the store, at work, at lunch, in line, you name the situation. If you really began to analyze your life, you could see countless situations where others are preferring themselves and slighting you.

Jesus warned us about persecution for our faith, and He says that He warns us so that we won't get offended when it happens. Jesus also said that we should greatly rejoice when we are persecuted and cast out. I've been there, and at first I was mad, but then I remembered His Words and felt better. But what about just the daily irritations of dealing with other people. Jesus said in the world you will have trouble. We need to discuss dealing with offense in our everyday lives.

If it weren't for Jesus I would probably get offended all the time. I know that doesn't say much for me, but frankly I largely blame law school. Have you ever crossed a lawyer? Unless they are a rare version you'd better look out. Law school teaches you what all your rights and remedies are, so if you wrong me in any way I can recognize it and I know what to do about it. Man that doesn't help my Christian life.

I used to say, thinking about forgiveness, that I would be the only lawyer who never personally sued anyone. But I tell you, where the rubber meets the road is when I have the opportunity. It's easy to say, "I forgive, I love, peace brother." But if you think that will be your knee-jerk reaction to a wrong, if you haven't really developed your love walk, then you have another thing coming.

I'm getting fired up. I can see now that I needed the offenses. I needed everything I've been through. I need to practice forgiveness and love in the face of irritations. If I can't get through these light afflictions now, I'm going to have serious issues as I progress along the path God has for me.

In fact, to paraphrase Paul, I [am learning to] take pleasure in infirmities, persecutions, distresses and every other manner of irritation. I want the power of Christ to rest upon me. I know there are serious opportunities for God to put His super on your natural. But when you hold back your temper and rebuke wrath, God is going to comfort you with a POWERFUL dose of His Spirit. If you will ever feel God's assistance, I believe you will feel it when you are choosing to forgive and love someone who wrongs you.

Remember Jesus. Forgive them for they know not what they do. Most people who wrong us don't even know it. Most people who cut you off on the street didn't even realize it. When people are rude, they think they are right. So get over it, the offense will only hurt you anyway. But, of course, you know what they did. You know they hurt you, you know you could get them back. What was Jesus' most powerful weapon, His mouth. Jesus could literally speak anything and it would come to pass, ask the fig tree, which I doubt believed Him. But when Jesus was being persecuted in ways we can't imagine, like a lamb to the slaughter He opened not his mouth.

I'm determined to be like Jesus. I'm determined to stay out of offense, I don't care what people do to me. God has not dealt with me according to my sins, according to what I deserved. So I'm going to do likewise. I don't care what you do to me, I'm going to bless and love and forgive you. (Boy I can't wait for God to put that statement to the test. I think I'll stay home tonight.)

I'm not going to go into detail on this now, but over a year ago God told me to do a major study on forgiveness. One of the most powerful truths God revealed to me is that forgiveness is a weapon. When someone or something wrongs you, not only will forgiveness shield you from the effects, but it will literally propel you forward in the Spiritual realm and defeat spiritual enemies and mindsets that are attacking you.

The world says sue and take your portion. The world says that to fight back and attack is the way to win. But I tell you what; God's ways are higher than our ways. You say fight back, I say forgive. We'll see who will get farther in God's plans for their life. And we both know that's true.

I once heard Pastor Jimmy Evans say that if you fight fire with fire you get a bigger fire. But if you fight fire with water you will put out that fire. All of hell is fighting against Christians with its hottest flames. It works through spirits, mindsets and even sometimes people. But if you will come against that fire with the Water that is the Holy Spirit, who always operates in love and mercy, then you will see your victory.

Get over wanting to see your fleshy desire on your enemies. Now we pray for them, we bless them, we want them saved. It's time we break out the real weapons of our warfare, which are might through God. You refuse to be offended, you show love when others show hate. You lay your life down and keep your mouth shut. I feel God saying this now so I'm going to repeat - if you begin to operate this way you will literally impress God. And then God will bless you.

It's not easy. But who wants easy. We're going to another level.


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