Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offense will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! Luke 17:1 (KJV)
Jesus said it is impossible for us not to be offended in this world. People are always going to provoke you, tempt you, anger you and in such process, you might sin. It is inevitable.
Since offense is inevitable, we’ve got to be prepared for it. We’ve got to see it coming. That way you will be able to overlook the offense, forgive easily and move on.
Offense is one of the schemes and tricks of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy our joy and peace. The enemy uses it to lead us to sin. And we begin to react and harbor anger, hatred and evil thoughts in our mind. It started with someone saying something, treating you somehow, looking at you somehow and ended with you losing peace, joy, and sinning.
One of the greatest gifts God has given us is the gift of free will, the gift of choice. You and I get to dictate and choose our responses to offenses. And as aforementioned, you can better react to an offense if you always expect it.
What do I mean by this?
You need to realize and live conscious of the fact that humans are always going to be humans. I don’t care if it is your father, mother, sister, brother, best friend, husband, wife, colleague, a passerby, the waiter at the fast food/restaurant, the cashier at the store, etc., they are all humans and will offend you in one way or another. And the Bible says you must forgive them. But forgiveness can be hard.
In fact, the closer the relationship, the higher the chance of offense, the bigger the hurt and the harder to forgive.
But the moment I live with a conscious mind that you are going to offend me someday when the offense finally comes, it doesn’t hit me unexpectedly, which might decrease the hurt and makes it easier for me to forgive you.
I was discussing this principle and revelation with someone and she said, “Well, I am sure your mum can never offend you.” I said, “That’s not true. She will offend me. I expect her to offend me.” And she called me crazy. HAHAHA.
However, I want you to understand that no one is an exception. An offense is inevitable. No matter how close or far the relationship.
Do you know that God expects us to offend him? He expects a sinner to offend him, He expects his children to offend him, even if you are a man after His own heart like David or far from him like the lost/prodigal son. And because God expects us to offend him and sin, God FORGAVE us for even the sins we have not committed. He foresaw our various offenses and sins, thus sent His son to restore us to Him once and for all.
So when we sin, even as an intimate or distant child, God doesn’t get shocked or surprised. Like, “OMG, I cannot believe h/she sinned!” No! He expects it. Is he happy that we sinned? No! Does He expect us to keep growing and dying to flesh and sin? Yes!
Same way, are you going to be happy when someone offends you? No! Is it going to hurt? Yes! But does expecting it makes forgiveness easier? Yes! Does expecting it allows you to control your reaction? Yes! Does it increase & preserves your joy and peace? Yes!
I will like to break it to you that this revelation is something that I put to use every day. And has it worked? Yes! Did it work instantly? No! It takes time and process.
And do you know what I found out?
- I became closer to the Holy Spirit. How? Well, when someone offends me, instead of going off or harbor hurt and evil thoughts in my heart, I talk to the Holy Spirit instead. “Hey, Holy Spirit, I am hurt right now and I wanna vent, help me.” And I learned to take things to God than quarrel & exchange more hurtful words with people. Sometimes He tells me to go talk it out with the person. And many times He reveals to me many evil things in my heart that I didn’t know where there.
- I became slow to anger
- I kept my joy and peace, and many more
But when we don’t see offense coming, it kicks us to the ground, we fall real hard , we get hurt, we get angry and we refuse to forgive, which is a sin and we might go further to harbor hate, plan revenge and the enemy just keeps stealing, killing and destroying our joy, peace, and lives.
The enemy is a liar and he is already defeated but you will allow him to keep you in bondage with those lies if you remain ignorant to his scheme and tricks and one of those is offense.
He will use offense to keep a marriage in bondage. He will use offense to separate the father and the son, the mother and the daughter, the best friends, to create enmity at work, and to make you a miserable and hateful person.
But WHEN YOU SEE IT COMING, when you see offense coming, it changes everything. For as long as it depends on you, you can be at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18).
God gives us an unspeakable joy and a peace that surpasses all understanding and nothing can take that away EXCEPT YOU. If you will be oblivious & allow an offense to sweep you off your feet every time.
Take a look at the scriptures below
Proverbs 19:11 – Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 – Do not take to heart all the things that people say, lest you hear your servant cursing you. Your heart knows that many times you yourself have cursed others.
James 1:19 – Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.
Ephesians 4:2-3 – With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
You might say, “Hmmmn, this is easier said than done.” But may I break it to you that it is actually easier done than said.” All you gotta do is SEE IT COMING and stop expecting everyone to be perfect. People are going to offend you. It’s a reality.
Let me give you a practical example:
Your husband or wife offends you, says the wrong words or did that thing that pisses you off. And you might want to go off and get angry. But because you understand that your spouse loves you and you love him/her. But they are also human and would offend you from time to time. You respond by saying in your heart, “I saw that coming and I see what the enemy is trying to do.” And your response via speech & attitude I promise you will change. It takes an intentional effort and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Sometimes, silence is the only response you need.
People might start saying you are crazy, they might start calling you names such as stupid, too gentle, etc., because you refuse to react the way they expect you to. But your joy and peace are not worth it. And you will grant the Holy Spirit the access to work on your heart and develop His fruit in you.
You know the funniest thing? Many times these offenses are unintentional and we allow them to get to us. But we must be INTENTIONAL with our responses.
You will get offended but don’t stay offended.
Don’t be controlled by the offense, Control the offense.
SEE IT COMING. LIVE AT PEACE. KEEP YOUR JOY