Gayle Anderson

Humans display a remarkable ability to take offense.

Many live in offenses or supposed slights. Embittered, these seek to draw in others, and thereby defile them (Hebrews 12:15). Jesus said it would be thus in the last days.

Matthew 24:10-12: Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another . . . and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Individuals need not enter this path, however; for God offers an unoffendable heart.

Ezekiel 36:26: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

TRUTH: Offenses are common to all (Matthew 18:7). In this world, people face tribulation (John 16:33). Christians especially endure hardships (Acts 14:22).

The offended then face a choice: hold onto or put away their “right” to bitterness, wrath, anger… They must choose, too, whether to pull others—via slander—into their offendedness.

Ephesians 4:31-32: Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

TRUTH: Refusal of God’s unoffendable heart leads to betrayal, hatred, and cold love (Matthew 24:10-12).

TRUTH: Most people do not aspire to betray, hate, and possess a hardened, cold heart.

Even so, many choose this path. Why?

Unbelievers… Those who reject the Almighty, Himself, walk in futility of mind. They are darkened and excluded from all God-life (Ephesians 4:18-19). Unbelievers, plainly, have no real ability to counter offenses wisely.

Believers… Any who wear the name “Christian” yet perpetually take offense and live in victimhood ought to examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith (2 Corinthians 3:5).

True disciples… Christians fail and fall. And, frankly, too many respond incorrectly to offense (probably mostly due to poor training in families and churches). Of more concern, though, are those who remain locked in offendedness. These often cannot see how they open a doorway for the enemy to harass and enslave them. Worse, how they might draw others into darkened paths and thinking. Entire congregations have fallen due to relatively minor trespasses handled wrongly.

Christians who respond maturely to offense recognize that God works all things for good. They believe no weapon formed against them will prosper. They know God uses offenses as tools to develop Christlikeness.

Those who love Jesus need—even if reacting wrongly at first—to grow to see offenses as God’s proving ground. This includes painful situations when others bring correction and even strong rebuke. At such times, Christians need not rush to defend themselves but ask whether the charge has merit. If so, believers in Jesus should see this and repent. If the words are falsehood and attack, Christians need remember that the persecuted are blessed. In turn, they should bless and not curse (Romans 12:14).

Trust in a good God when offenses come. We overcome because of Jesus’ blood and our testimony and not loving our lives when faced even with death (Revelation 12:11). To stay on this path, though—with our lives tucked beneath His blood, a good testimony, humility, and a willingness to die for Him—we do need to choose an unoffendable heart.


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