Love:The Standard for Dealing with Offense




Have you ever wondered how many people would have wished you dead if you were evil? Have you really considered how much hatred filled the hearts of those you were at one time or the other wicked to in times past? Have you thought about how badly you had hurt someone and that person wished you experience the same hurts and even more? You may have done what you did deliberately or unconsciously, but one thing remains and it is that you registered an emotional response in the hearts of those you encountered in life eventually – maybe positive, maybe negative; but I’m really concerned about the negative emotional perception and responses. 

Sometimes, you knew you were doing these things, and sometimes you never knew, but that is not the point. The issue is before Christ cleansed your heart, its default mode was to think evil and nothing more! The Message puts Genesis 6:5 in a more explicit way, “God saw that human evil was out of control. People thought evil, imagined evil — evil, evil, evil from morning to night.” So, when Jesus doesn’t sit as the King on the throne of a heart, such heart cannot be trusted to think what’s not evil, because, apparently, it obeys another king! And this was your case when you didn’t know Christ – you were, by nature apart from Him (Eph 2:1-3).

Eph 2:1-3 TLB

1. Once you were under God’s curse, doomed forever for your sins.

2. You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord.

3. All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into. We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else. 

Jesus saved us by loving us but hating our offenses.

No, you were not in control of your heart, on the contrary, the devil was in control and the core of your being had the DNA of evil so that even the “seemingly good things” you did were considered as “dead works” by Christ because they did not come from Him. You have not gotten the LIFE yet. And now, to say that God answered the desires of the hearts of the people who you hurt in the past, by mistake or on purpose (if actually He would which He didn’t do, obviously) would really mean that you would be long a dead meat by now. Yea, you really were an heir to God’s indignation and it wouldn’t have taken Him split-seconds to eliminate you and that, of course, you know, would be a great disaster. Now, that’s how much your evil and wickedness would have caused/cost you.

But then, something really happened. God decided that it was time for your stand with Him to be changed and then He decided to relocate you from darkness to His Marvellous Light (1Peter 2:9). He decided to lift His wrath off your head; He chose to bring you close to Himself, forgetting all your sins and your offenses. Then eventually, it all happened, just like a flash; you’re not evil anymore! You now have a new King that sits on the throne of your heart. Oh, your heart can be trusted with good and godly thoughts. Courtesy of Jesus! Because when He wanted to deal with you, He created a demarcation between you and the sin you committed. So He could show you how much He loved you deeply but hated your sins so much that He nailed them on the Cross.

Eph 2:4-5 AMP

4 But God — so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, 

5 Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).

Love bleeds when it is submerged with a lot of hatred, jealousy, strife, and evil.

So, Love eventually prevailed. That was how Jesus could save you (and me), that is, loving us but hating our offenses. He didn’t go all the way crushing our spirit or even slandering us before the adversary (Satan) because of our “great” sins and offenses. Instead, knowing that we were just slaves to our old nature, He decided to give us a new nature – Righteousness, with the knowledge that we would be slaves of righteousness. This was Christ’s way of dealing with our offenses. He could have hated us, punished us, killed us, or make us drink the wrath of His anger, but then, He chose Love and Forgiveness. He saw what we could become in and with Him, so, He dealt with the hindrance – all in us.

Is this not the heart we ought to have as Christians? At what point did Jesus stop being our Standard? Do we still remember that God still loves sinners? The truth is, Love bleeds when it is submerged with a lot of hatred, jealousy, strife, and evil. As each moment passes by, I remind myself that if what I wished others were wished for me too, would I still be alive? If I was treated the way I treated that young dude who offended me, would I have loved it? Those and many more questions are what I ask myself. It is a way to learn how to treat others the way Jesus would treat them. By so doing, you’ll win the offender and also free yourself from evil thoughts and actions.

Jesus has given us a template to follow: “He loved this (evil) world so much, even though He Knew it (we) was (were) full of Evil. He still loved it (us) so very much that He thought to save it (us)! He did that by removing what made the world repelling to Him by giving us Jesus to shed His Blood for us so that we can be saved. Amazingly, this means God saw a problem and He got the problem solved.”

We ought to do the same. We are to see sinners as those who didn’t know what they’re doing. If they knew how evil it is to do evil things, they would probably have a re-think. We ought to remember that we were like them at one point in our lives and some people loved us enough to pray for us so we could get saved, no matter how much we even wronged them. Be reminded, Love still exists; Love is God! So, God expects that we love these trespassers enough to show them JESUS who is able to kill their trespasses and remember them no more!

Be good.

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