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  • J. Lynn Thomas

3 Things To Do to Stay Out of Offense

of·fense (noun) /əˈfens/

1.a breach of a law or rule; an illegal act: 2.annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult to or disregard for oneself or one's standards or principles:



It's not easy to stay out of offense these days. And so easy to take the bait in the Good Guy

/Bad Cycle -- who's good, who's bad, who's right, who's wrong?... Boy! What a challenge the Year of 20/20 Vision as brought us! But as Christians, that is exactly what we're called to do. So, how do we keep our "eyes" on Jesus when our world looks more like a sleeve of Ritz crackers smashed with a meat mallet to make our summer squash casserole?


Offense. A tricky subject for Christians.


Everyone has free will and the right to voice an opinion. And in our country, our First Amendment right protects that privilege. But spend an hour out on a social media site these days and be prepared for mudslinging and eyeball scratching the likes of which you haven't seen since the eighth grade.


Offense in the New Testament is the Greek word skandalon, as defined in Strong's Concordance as (4625) as "a stick for bait (of a trap), generally a snare, a stumbling block, an offense."


Does the Bible Allow Us to be Offended?


Several years ago I heard a well-known minister, Billye Brim, tell how she became convicted of holding onto offenses caused by her husband's insensitivity to her cooking. He bragged on his mother's vegetable soup. No one on the planet made homemade soup like his Mama. And although she was a great cook and went to heric effort to prepare a homemade meal, while holding a very responsible fulltime job as an editor for Kenneth E. Hagin, Billye's husband seemed unappreciative and it was causing her to sulk. The Lord convicted her of hard feelings toward her husband so she decided to hang a copy of I Corinthians 13 inside her kitchen cupboard. Every time her husband said something that hurt her feelings she would open that cabinet door and repeat the scripture,


4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

8 Love never fails...(Classic Amplified)



One day Billye opened the cabinet door to read the scripture and the 5th verse jumped out at her, printed in the Classic Amplified version.


5  (Love) It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].


Not touchy or fretful or resentful;...it pays no attention to a suffered wrong. What? How could that be right? And how might that apply to our numerous encounters on social media? "Touchy." "Fretful." "Resentful." What's the answer? Pay no attention to a suffered wrong.

It doesn't say what happened wasn't wrong. In fact, it further defines is as evil. But our response is to pay no attention to it. To not allow ourselves to be touchy or fretful or resentful. even when it is an evil, a suffered wrong.


In fact if you meditate on that verse, you'll realize that the offense is the responsibility of the offended, not the offender. Forgiveness and release of offense are squarely placed on the shoulders of the person offended. The victim of perpetrated sin holds the key to his own release. Forgiveness.


Don't I Have a Right to be Offended?


Yes, but you do but if you choose to ascribe to it -- to "take the bait..." you just made your perpetrator your master. Dr. Caroline Leaf, communication pathologist, and cognitive neuroscientist and Christian author shares research that unforgiveness causes a connection to form between victim and perpetrator, causing them to become "entangled". She calls it the Law of Forgiveness or the Law of Relationship. She says quantum physics proves that no matter how much time and distance exists between them, as long as there is unforgiveness the offended person remains tied to the offender. In other words, they remain the victim of the offender. The only way to cut the tie is to forgive the person and release them from all charge. A recent blog is here, discussing the best way to interact with people with differences of opinion. https://drleaf.com/blogs/news/lets-talk-about-politics?_pos=1&_sid=2496a318e&_ss=r

Allowing God, Himself to take up the charge is the correct response of the believer. He is the Avenger, the Advocate for Justice, and the Enforcer of penalty for those who don't repent. As long as you refuse to remain in the good guy/bad guy circle, you will continue to be battered and bruised by the memory of the abuse, over and over and over again.


Whoa! or Rather, Woe!


So, Jesus warned about becoming offended. But He also warned about causing others to become "stumble", take the bait, and become offended. This may be the reason the Word also warns that leaders, teachers, and those in authority will be held to a higher standard for how they disseminate information. The news media should heed a healthy caution to this scripture.


6 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of[a]offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! (Matthew 18:7)


Therefore, I believe the two most dangerous sins in the Bible just may be:

  • Offense, which enslaves the victim to the perpetrator, and if not interrupted, will eventually come full circle and will cause the offended to become a perpetrator


  • Strife, which entangles a number of people together, and which the Bible cautions is the root of "...confusion and EVERY evil work."


Therefore, I believe the two most dangerous sins in the Bible just may be:

  • Offense, which enslaves the victim to the perpetrator, and if not interrupted, will eventually come full circle and will cause the offended to become a perpetrator


  • Strife, which entangles a number of people together, and which the Bible cautions is the root of "...confusion and EVERY evil work."


So... Was Jesus Enough?


Some may be old enough to remember Green Stamps. They were a promotion given by merchants and collected by customers, who "saved" them in little booklets until they had enough to "redeem" them for an item shown in a catalog of home goods. The first time a Baptist friend asked me if I was "saved" I thought of Green Stamps and the wholesaling of Jesus had little appeal. It was later in life I had true revelation on what exactly Jesus "saved" us from and how, as "Redeemer" He rescued me from punishment due for my own sin and the sins of the fathers and the sin of mankind by taking my exchanging my guilt for His righteousness. The Bible calls this "justification." Some say, "Just As If I Never Did It." To go back and dig up my past or yours would be an afront to the Blood of Jesus. But isn't that what we are asking God to do when we want to hold on to offense?


3 Things to Do to Stay Out of Offense

  • Forgive sin. It's the only thing that frees you from entanglement. It's not about excusing sin. It is an act of will to forgive and release the person from all charge. Jesus instructs us in The Lord's Prayer, "... forgive us our trespasses as WE forgive those who trespass against us.


  • Cover the offender with the Blood of Jesus, so that the offender is free from condemnation and able to "hear" God and respond in repentance.


  • Call the heart of the offender to God. You are not required to "feel" a release of the person you have forgiven. It is a legal act. But you may certainly want to ask God to give you feelings of love toward the person who has hurt you. Particularly if you will need to deal with the cause of their actions for an extended time.


So, the next time you feel yourself becoming, "touchy, or fretful" over the arguments of current affairs, slow down, reign in your emotions, and respond with these three things. And be sure and use the same caution as you "share" information which may inflame or incite others. Here's a good guideline:


For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].


And Finally...


So how should we respond when the climate is hot with division and someone is in your face ready to give you the latest reason why you need to be offended. Dangling the bait -- right under your nose! Well, take another lesson from our friend Billye Brim. Her son, Chip, says if ever he is ready to share a word or opinion about someone she will quickly stop him and say, "Son, is what you are about to tell me going to glorify God?" Now, that's a surefire way to shut down a conversation.


In conclusion: Don't take the bait.


How then shall we pray? Here's one to jumpstart your heart:


As an act of my will I choose to forgive ______ for _______. From this day forward I hold no charge against _____ and I cover his/her sin with the Blood of Jesus, who exchanged their unrighteousness for His righteousness. I can say with conviction, "...though their sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow." Now, I ask you Father, to draw their heart to You, so that they might know you and the great Love you have for them. That they learn how head over heels in love you are with them and how you long to walk and redeem their life, so they may enjoy the fullness of their destiny in the larger story you have written about them. I ask you also, Father, to soften my heart toward them, and pierce my heart with feelings of love and forgiveness for _____. Heal the trauma and distress their actions have caused me and give me grace to release them once and for all. In Jesus' name I pray.



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