Thursday, 20 October 2022

Offended With God

Proverbs 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offence.

      The ever-increasing number of people who live with offendedness within their hearts are finding it difficult to live with themselves. They often have a ready-made excuse for the disquieting noise vibrating in their souls that points to the lack of peace they are feeling. We have become a people who are touchy-feely and easy to upset. We are quick to fly off the handle and think the worse before we hear the whole story. Then, whatever the reason was for being offended, it ends up aired out on every social media platform, resulting in a lifetime recording of the offence being ranted about. This has become a national pastime while seeking viewers to give the rant and rave a thumbs up or down. 2Pet. 2:18a They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting.
      The sad thing is the increasing number of offended Christians venting their gripes in the church assemblies, and then vowing to never set foot in a church again. Even though Christians have the Lord who will heal the effects of offences when the hurts are brought to God, many still choose to be offended. The healing grace that is available to all believers in Christ is not fully accepted or appropriated to initiate reconciliation. It is disheartening to see Christians living like secular people stewing in offences causing them to live miserable lives. Why is this occurring? Choosing to be offended, disgruntled, or becoming aggrieved at every little thing is a sign of immaturity, or as the writer to the Hebrews suggests - being a baby still needing milk and a soother. Heb. 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 
      We need to put on and use the whole armour of God and grow up within the expectations of our Lord. What people do not realize is that when they are offended with a person, in reality, they are offended with God. God will not allow any of His children to maintain an offence since the Lord's commandment is to forgive one another. If Christians maintain an offence in their heart, they become upset with God because they feel God is not on their side justifying their right to be offended. Therefore, in truth, they are offended with God, regardless of how they disguise their words and attitudes toward God. 
      We can see a similar example when Samuel tried to get the people of Israel to see that asking for a king rather than a God-appointed Judge would bring hardship to their lives. Samuel felt they were offended and angry with him, but in reality, God points out that it was God they had rejected. 1Sam. 8:7b They have not rejected you; they have rejected me as their king. To the least of these, you have done to me. God was saying, "Samuel, you are not the one they are offended with even though it feels that way. It is Me they are rejecting." God sees what is in the depth of a man's heart. In effect, when we are offended by a brother or sister in the Lord, we are offended with God Himself. 
      Rather than fighting God and demanding the right to be offended, we might want to take a lesson from Job, who thought he was right in his evaluation of the situation. Job kept defending himself in his own righteousness, and eventually saw that his self-righteousness was nothing compared to God's righteousness. He then professes a repenting statement that we too should declare. Job 42:3b Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. As someone profoundly said, “We cannot rise above something we do not name.” We will never overcome being offended until we admit to who or what we are offended with. God's will for all of us is that we are to be reconciled to each other and God. We are to repent of the offence we have picked up and leave it with God, who knows how to deal with this sin. Like all sin, offendedness was nailed to the cross and we can find forgiveness for it.
      Prov. 19:11 Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offence. Are you offended with your pastor? Then you are offended with God. Are you offended by your brother or sister in the Lord? Then you are offended with the Lord. Are you offended with your spouse, friend, or civic leader? Bring the offence to the Lord in prayer who will help you let it go. God's love for us is never in doubt, but He will not help us to keep sin in our hearts. If there is a side to pick, God is on His side, and we are to walk along with Him. God is truly for us and loves us, but He will not join us in upholding a transgression against Himself, others, or even ourselves. God's admonition to all Christians is to get along with all men as best as we can. Rom. 12:10 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Help us, Lord, to hand over our offences so that we may live in peace. Amen!

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