I think Iâ€™m safe in saying that we have all had our feelings hurt at one time or another. We’ve all felt insulted by someone or felt like an injustice was paid to us. Usually when someone hurts our feelings instead of letting it go, resentment begins to build on the inside of us.
When you’ve been insulted or deeply hurt by someone, human nature is to retaliate. Human nature says
â€œYou hurt my feelings; therefore I resent you. Youâ€™re going to pay for this. Iâ€™m not going to speak to you. Iâ€™m going to build up that wall of protection around me, and youâ€™re never going to get that close to me againâ€
That should not be your attitude as a child of God. You should not be tempted to make permanent decisions based on temporary circumstances. It doesn’t matter what people say about you or what people do against you, you cannot harbor offenses in your heart.
You may have been deeply wounded and hurt, and I would never make light of your situation. There might have been things that happened in your life that have caused deep scars on the inside of you. Someone may have physically or mentally abused you, and you’ve never been able to forgive that person.
Well, itâ€™s time to forgive them. You canâ€™t do anything to make them apologize or â€œpayâ€ for what they did to you. But you can forgive them and move on in your life. Donâ€™t let their mistake stop you from being successful. You cannot allow a spirit of offense to ruin your life and your destiny.
The purpose of satanÂ is to use offenses as a trap to hold you from all that God wants you to be.Â The devil knows that harboring unforgiveness in our lives can not only stop our progress in the things of God, but it can delay Godâ€™s perfect plan for our lives. So, He constantly provides opportunity for us to be offended. Therefore, we need to learn what to do when offenses come our way.
You should know that offenses will come. No matter how smart or prayerful you are, opportunity to be offended will come. Notice what Luke 17:1 says about offenses.Â It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!
The Bible says that offenses will come through someone. Donâ€™t be that person. Be aware of what you say. Think before you speak. Your words can destroy a personâ€™s self-esteem or they can bring him up to a higher level.
â€œThere is he that speaketh like the piercing of a sword; but the tongue of the wise is healthâ€. Prov. 12:18
THE SEED OF offense
â€œEven so the tongue is a little member, and bosteth great things. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindlethâ€ James 3:1-5
Nothing in life starts big: the same with offense. An offense always starts as a thought, and thoughts are seeds, that enter your mind. Seeds of offense are the beginning of developments of offense in our lives. But we have the ability to refuse the thought or uproot the seed before an offense is fully-grown in the garden of our hearts.
There are four basic ways those seeds get sown into us:
- What others said to us (Prov. 15:1, Prov. 12:18)All some people ever heard in their lives were cutting and abrasive words. Sarcastic speeches that pierces like a sword. Sarcastic people can cut you to pieces with their tongue.
- What others did not say to us (Proverbs 25:11,15)You could be offended because you donâ€™t feel appreciated. No one ever says thank you to you or compliments your effort.
- What others did to us (negative actions and reactions) (Psalm 55:12-16)
- What people didnâ€™t do for us (favor or assistance we did not receive) (Proverbs 13:13)
THE ROOT OF BITTERNESS
If no action is taken to remove the seed of offense, it quickly germinates. Two things happen a root goes down and a shoot goes up.
Bitterness works on the inside of you in two ways:
- What you feel (negative emotions)Concerning your emotions, there are some characteristics that go with it such as:i.Â Â Â Â Â A sense of injustice (â€œItâ€™s not fairâ€)ii.Â Â Â Â Frustrationiii.Â Â Â Angeriv.Â Â Â Hatred
- What you think:Bitterness affects your thinking. Negative and wicked (unscriptural) thoughts develop from a heart that is hurt or abused.
THE FRUIT OF RESENTMENT
(Matt 12:33-35, Heb 12:15)
Whenever the seed of the offense is sworn into you and you allow it to germinate into bitterness, with all the emotions in display, the fruit will always be resentment. This comes out of you in two ways:
- What you say
- What you do
What you say and do shows whether you have been conquered by the spirit of offense or not. Have you ever been around people who constantly talk about their past and how badly they hurt? Perhaps they were in an abusive relationship, and have never been able to forgive that person who abused them. Such kinds of people are full of resentment. Even if you have the right to be offended because you are not the one who is in the wrong, donâ€™t yield to the spirit of offense. Youâ€™ve got to learn to put a guard over your mouth. So that you are not taking that offense from one person to another.
Because when we are offended, we generally want to take the offense to someone else. Why? So we can get sympathy. â€œDo you know what they did to me? Do you know what they said about me? Do you know how they hurt me?â€ We tend to go to other people for sympathy rather than going to the person who offended us and settle the issue once and for all.
The Bible teaches in Matthew 15: 15-17 that we should initiate the restoration and forgiveness process. Donâ€™t rationalize the reason why he has not come to you to apologize just do what the Word tells you to do.
CONQUERING THE SPIRIT OF OFFENSE
I believe that the first step to conquer offense in our lives is to start learning to forgive. Be quick to forgive no matter who or what happened to you. Moreover, for you not to yield to the spirit of offense you must choose to walk in love all the time. Also, you need to walk in wisdom for you not to create opportunity for offense to come. This at times will cause you to avoid certain people or things that constantly cause strife. You may have to keep quiet about some issues too.
Â â€œWalk in wisdom toward them that are withoutâ€¦â€ Col. 4:5
â€œSee that ye walk circumspectly; not as fools but as wiseâ€ Ephesians 5:15
If you have offended anyone and it seems it is hard to win back the person â€“ donâ€™t give up. Keep loving and praying for the person. Though the Bibles says a brother offended is hard to be won (Proverbs 18:19), it doesnâ€™t say it cannot be won. You will destroy the spirit of offense if you persist in your prayer and love for him. Donâ€™t let offense overnight destroy the relationship you have invested into for years. Neither allow the devil to destroy your destiny in God because of offense. Conquer the spirit of offense and be a blessing.
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