There are many ways that we can be offended. We are going to examine six of them.
- Offended by the truth
- Offended by God
- Offended by trouble/circumstances
- Offended by the holy spirit
- Offending ourselves
- Giving offenses to others
Offended by the truth
In John 8:32 it says: Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free!!
When you start reading scriptures or you hear a truth from God’s word, if it doesn’t line up with us and our flesh, we have to be careful not to take offense with this. We usually are quick to think it is not for us but for someone else. But God’s word is for us. To help us be free in Him.
I remember very much when God’s word—the truth—was teaching me how to change things about myself. I thought in my own mind that I was a pretty good person (smile) But I realized I had a lot of hidden attitudes and heart issues to work on. There was more than one time that I felt like I didn’t want to do this. God was showing me how I had prideful, control issues. I wanted to take charge and fix things. I wanted to do things my way, because I thought it was best (smile) He was showing me that I was a manipulator, and that I had to stop feeling sorry for myself. I had to let down my guard and humble myself before my family and God. It was tough. But I kept on it. It was stretching me.
I don’t know about you, but I know that when I am stretching it just doesn’t feel comfortable. But just as a caterpillar stretches it’s way out of the cocoon and into a butterfly, that is the same metamorphosis that we go through. When we are stretched, it may feel a little uncomfortable but that is where we are able to push through and enter into the next level of what God has for us.
God can use anyone in any situation that He wants. BUT how much greater of a way can God use us when we completely lay down all of our “stuff” and let Him take control of our lives?
When we hear the truth, for the most part it is hard on the flesh. We are sinful people and when we hear something that goes against what the world has taught us, then it is tough. But it reaps many good things, unlike the world. When we hear the truth and act upon it, it sets our present conditions into line with God and it prepares us for far greater blessings that we can imagine. We want to be moving forward in our walk with the Lord. We don’t want to stay stagnant. How much better is a life that is lived to the fullest just by laying aside our pride and becoming meek and submissive to what God has for us? For most, they make excuses of why they don’t want to change or don’t want to hear that truth. All those excuses are doing nothing but preventing them from moving forward. We want to be FREE!!! We want to be free so that God can use us in a mighty way.
Offended by God
One look at the world and you can see how people take offense at God. Our society is offended by God. The ten commandments posted on a building offends people who look at it. Allowing students to pray in school causes offense to others. Why does this offend them? The ONLY reason it offends them is because THEY DO NOT WANT TO DO IT! They have rejected the One whom has created them, and therefore they reject anything about Him. It is called rebellion and our world is full of it. When you read the 10 commandments, I think almost everyone can agree that they are all good rules to live by. To not kill, not to covet, not to be adulterous are all things that benefit US. God is trying to show US how to have a better life. Everything He says is for our good. But as the bible says in the end times they will rebel and turn their hearts away from the truth.
Offended by trouble/circumstances
The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
This truth is an important one, you see it happening everyday especially in our churches. If someone is not deeply rooted in God’s word, when trouble comes, they fall away. This is a big testimony that I know I have encountered many times throughout my life. I see wives and teenagers that grew up in the church and when something happens badly in their lives, instead of digging deep into God’s word and turning to Him for strength and guidance, they crumble and fade away. It is a sad reality. But God’s word tells us about it so that we can be aware and be careful not to do it.
When we are faced with trials or bad situations they can either make us stronger or they will make us resentful. When bad things happen, if we take offense at the situation we start to blame others for it. We may blame God for disrupting our cushy lifestyles. We may even blame the devil—and that is rightly so. But we can also take offense at other people who seem to be more blessed then we are. Sometimes it is just resentment. That resentment takes root to form bitterness towards life and the situations that come our way. But we must be made aware of resentment. This is part of not taking offense.
When we are faced with these trials or bad situations we need to look at them from a whole new perspective. We need to think, that by going through this, it can actually helps us get deeper and stronger roots in the Word. I know for myself, when I have gone through trials, the more I was alone and away from others I had only one person to hang onto, and that was God. But during those times is when my faith was strengthened. I realized that once I gave over my situations to Him, He could do far greater of a job then I could do. Then to watch it unfold, strengthened my faith hugely. Seeing His hand do the things that for years I tried to control and change.
When times of trial arise you can really see how faithful you truly are to God. You can see if you are more of an emotional person or if you are truly committed to the faith. Emotional hearers of the word always fall apart during times of trial. You have seen people being unstable in times of trial. They get angry and make accusations against others, instead of rationally looking at the situation.. This is only a sign of spiritual immaturity. Not that you can’t get emotional during times of trial—but what I am saying is that inside, your faith will help you stand the test of your trials. Knowing that God is in control of everything and that he will work ALL things out together for your good. Being careful to guard, to not let your emotions take charge of your faith.
As a side note, you want to avoid people in life that are given to change. However the wind blows through their life that is how they bend, sway, and react. These types of people you cannot count on. They usually have a bad influence and it is just better to stay away.
When bad things or situations happen in your life don’t blame God.
Lamentations 3:25-28 says that God lays the yoke of divine discipline on us for our benefits. Sometimes it is good for us to experience disappointment. We learn to just shake off the dirt, get back up and go on. We learn not to place our hope in things but to place our hope in God. When we don’t get our way all of the time, we learn to appreciate things much more. We grow very thankful for the things that we do have.
God is at work ALL OF THE TIME. Just like on a movie, we only see what is going on right here and now. But God is working behind the scenes and we know nothing about what He is doing behind the scenes. We must trust God and NEVER accuse Him of not caring for you. God is good all of the time—I like to say “no, God is GREAT!!”
Being offended by the Holy Spirit?? REALLY, who in their right mind would want to offend the Holy Spirit?? Find out tomorrow….
Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net