Offense is a powerful tool that's used to keep us from reaching our spiritual potential. As we draw closer to God and begin to realize our calling, our service to Him is motivated out of love for both God and man. As our relationship with the Lord begins to pick up momentum, we run into His arms with passion and adoration, prepared to do anything that He desires us to do.
We've talked about the tools of busyness and the diversions the enemy uses to distract us from the specific plan God has for our lives. Different variations of offense are also powerfully crippling tools. As we begin to take steps forward, the words of others can cut to our heart and make us doubt our purpose and usefulness for the Kingdom. The enemy also knows the sensitive buttons in our lives, that if pushed, will trigger our insecurities and deliver an immediate, negative reaction. So, guess what he provides? People to frustrate us and hurt our feelings, whether it's purposeful or not.
These attacks may feel like a step backward and they do have the potential to knock us flat on our faces. If left to take root, unforgiveness will prevail and lead us down a path of spiritual self destruction. Churches become divided, relationships are destroyed, ministry's are stifled and halted, all because of what someone said or even what we perceive they meant. Eventually...if we continue to harbor these negative feelings, depression sets in and our lives take a turn that we were never meant to take. Sometimes we are upset for the noblest of reasons, but the enemy uses it to take our minds on a self destructive journey. I've even seen people who have begun to draw closer to God become prideful of their own self sacrifice and diligence. They then become offensive, jealous and judgemental of even those they once respected and loved.
The amazing thing is, God allows those thoughts and attacks to mold our character and reveal the areas in our lives that need fortifying. As our weaknesses are revealed, our strength must be drawn from God's Word and presence. He taught me years ago that how others treat me is between them and God...my response? Well... that's between me and God. No matter what is done to me or how I feel about a situation, I must choose love and forgiveness. I don't always get it right, but it's definitely my goal.
Open your eyes and check your heart... have you been offended lately? Choose love and forgiveness! Then repent and allow it to chase you into the strong, comforting arms of Jesus! That's where you'll find your peace, healing and deliverance.
Proverbs 19:11 (TPT) A wise person demonstrates patience, for mercy means holding your tongue. When you are insulted, be quick to forgive and forget it, for you are virtuous when you overlook an offense.
1 Peter 1:1-2 (NKJV) Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.
Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 (NKJV) Also do not take to heart everything people say, Lest you hear your servant cursing you. For many times, also, your own heart has know that even you have cursed others.
Matthew 24:10-12 (NKJV) And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Luke 6:22-23 (NKJV) Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy. For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure.