23 Oct Are You Easily Offended?
Are you easily offended? What types of things do you find yourself becoming offended at? We can be offended by something as little as someone not saying hello to us. As a person who has struggled over the years with being over-sensitive and reading into things, I have prayed for God to help me become unoffendable. It is only natural to have our feelings hurt, and because we are human beings, we will sin against each other. How are we, according to Jesus, to handle it?
One of the most radical concepts Jesus ever spoke about was forgiveness. When Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times? ”Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
In other words, Jesus was saying that every time a brother or sister sins against us, that we should forgive them. That was a radical departure from the Old Testament law which said an eye for an eye.
Another radical concept that Jesus taught was the idea of resolving conflict in Matthew 5:23-24: “If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” We need to settle differences before approaching God! And key here is that if we know we have offended someone, we are to go to him or her.
Let Christ’s humility be your example. Some of the most powerful words in the New Testament can be found in Philippians 2:5-7 and 17: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men…But even if I (Paul) am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.” The drink offering was the libation…the last part of the Old Testament sacrifice, the fruit of the worker’s labor. Paul, the greatest of the apostles, was saying he would rejoice even if could be that part in service to Christ along with the Philippian workers. Now, that’s humility.
Finally, we are to leave room for the work of God. “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.” Romans 12:17 Forgive those who sin against you, admit when you are wrong, remember Christ’s example of humility, and leave room for God to work in a person’s life and in your own. Let His great love for you make you so secure that you can become unoffendable.