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The Voice of Offense Has Many Tones

By now, I could write a book about the sounds of Satan, his techniques, and plots to bring destruction to anything in a believer's life. Besides a person's sin, the enemy will use their soul wounds to pour out a poisonous lie and cause them to flee from God's plans for their destiny.

People are put in our paths for purpose. I believe these purposes are meant to last longer than most relationships, but people get offended. The spirit of offense is one of the most dangerous ploys the enemy uses against us. He spits his venomous lies into the atmosphere and creates a situation that allows him to lay eggs. After a season, the eggs of offense hatch to bitterness through the fertilization of unforgiveness. Once this has happened, it is too late to get that relationship back in a godly place.

The biggest lie a person can harbor is that they are not offended when their behavior shows they are. I have heard the statement, "I am not offended, you or they just did…" Fill in the blanks. The person is not offended, yet they are sure to bring up the offensive deed of another. There is such a twisting of truth, and it is wrapped in a nice lie like "God told me." This is one of the many sounds of the devil.

Jesus said many shall be offended, betray, and even hate one another (Mat 24:10). Offend is used to describe a stumbling block or something that causes another to trip. It describes a person who distrusts and deserts one whom they should obey or have an allegiance to. Offense will be one of the most significant reasons for the great falling away mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2.

Harboring offense is dangerous. It is so dangerous that Jesus said, And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. – Mat 5:29

Other versions of this verse use the word sin or stumble instead of offend. Offense is a sin. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. - Mat 5:29 NIV

We get our English word scandal from the Greek word skandalízō, which is translated to offend in this verse. Scandal is defined as an event regarded as morally or legally wrong, causing public outrage. An offended person often destroys the reputation of the one they are offended with.

A brother offended is harder to win over than a fortified city, And contentions [separating families] are like the bars of a castle. – Pro 18:19

An offended person is hard to win over because they either won't admit they are offended, think they are right, or simply refuse to discuss the situation. I have seen this too many times to count. I still have not figured out why people are willing to remain in offense when the Bible tells us to behave differently.

Jesus said they would know us by our love for one another (Jn 13:35). He said to forgive a brother or sister seven times seventy-seven times. In other words, forgive until you have perfected forgiving. An offended person will not forgive. They may give lip service, but their hearts are far from submitting to God's word on the subject.

Jesus talked a lot about abiding or remaining. He said, "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. - Jhn 15:4 NKJV

When we are not abiding in Christ, we will bear fruit that is not of God. We will produce unrighteous anger, harbor bitterness through offense, and defile everyone we encounter because our hearts are impure. When we put on Christ, we take off the right to be right. We choose to submit one to another and will be the first to admit fault.

Jesus desired that His followers would bear much fruit, whereby they would glorify the Father.

9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. 11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and [that] your joy may be full. 12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. 14 "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. - Jhn 15:4, 9-14 NKJV

There is an entire lifestyle written in these verses. We barely see a person willing to lay down offense and walk in agreement, let alone give up their life for another. While I do not claim to have attained all these commands, I pursue them with a holy fear of God.

What is stopping you from deliberately seeking oneness with another person? What is preventing you from bearing the fruit of love in this season of your life?

Let's pray,

Heavenly Father, I confess I need Your help to overcome offense. Somewhere in my heart, I have picked up contamination and do not bear the fruit of love that is commanded of me. Please illuminate my brokenness, rebellion, and pride and help me be the first to yield to another so that as far as it is in my power to live at peace with the brethren, I can. In Jesus name, Amen.


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