Taking Offense

TAKING OFFENSE? CHOOSE TO WALK IN LOVE AND GROW 
You will never grow spiritually beyond your offenses. Offense is like a chain-link fence that hampers your every movement. Offense is like trying to water ski with the anchor down. We know what we want to do but are limited by such constraints. This is how offense hinders your spiritual development. You know what to do and you desire to do such, but the sickness of your spirit will not allow your desires to come to maturity. Offense feeds on itself and produces after its kind.

The cycle of offense is as follows:
  1. An event takes place and you have opportunity to be offended. 
  1. Your feelings and/or expectations are hurt. 
  1. You then take offense. 
  1. You make inner vows based on your offense. 
  1. You speak forth words of strife based on the offense rather than the situation. 
  1. Offense becomes a memory. 
  1. You are now set up for another event to take place where you can be re-offended. 

Questions now arise; how is an offense destroyed and removed? How are the walls that divide torn down and the debris removed? In Isaiah 58:6 we read, “Is this not the fast which I chose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bonds of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and break every yoke?
 
CHOOSE TO WALK IN LOVE AND GROW FROM THE EXPERIENCE. 
Loosen the bonds of wickedness. A bond is that which ties two things together. The bonds of wickedness are the inner vows you have made. These bonds tied your offense to your spirit. You must repent for them and allow Jesus to cut their hold over your life. These vows have become the rope that has tied your offenses to your back. You have become burdened from the strain of carrying that load. Cut those bonds by repenting of your vows. The joy of the Lord has been but a distant memory because of laboring under this load. Allow Jesus to cut the cords as you repent.

Undo the bands of the yoke. The bands are that which keep the yoke in place. It is the gossip and words of strife you have spoken against the person who offended you. Again, repentance is in order. But you might say, “I was unjustly treated, I was mishandled, I was hurt, and they were wrong.” The issue is not the justification for your offense. Jesus said offenses would come. The issue is how you dealt with the offenses.

The offense came to make you more Christ-like. What have you done with that opportunity? Words of strife are the metal collar of the yoke. It is up to you to take the collar off. Some of you may need to go to those you gossiped to and repent to them also. Let the oppressed go free. Forgiveness will set both you and the person free who offended you. While you are offended, you are held captive to that offense.

Let us say you have been offended by a pastor. As long as you take offense you will not receive from him any of the words that the Lord has employed him to share with you. You are in bondage. The pastor is also in bondage because, when you are offended, you cease to pray and speak needed words of encouragement to him. He misses out on the many ways the Lord could use you to minister into his life.

Break every yoke. The yoke is that which is employed by the devil to place you into slavery. God desires for you to be a servant, not a slave. The yoke is the offense. Choose to walk in love and grow from the experience. It is easy to be offended; it is difficult to love. Love involves Christian maturity and discipline. This is the high road to glory and fullness in your Christian walk.

I pray that the offenses that have held you captive will fall at the foot of the cross of Jesus who forgave even as His last breath was exhausted.

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