In my previous post, OFFENCES I, you may click on this link and read it if you have not read it yet, we defined offence as an act of upsetting and hurting the feelings of another, causing annoyance in another because of rudeness or lack of respect, or breaking or going against a law or principle another person holds dearly. Real offences are the ones we cause to others or others cause to us whiles the perceived offences are the ones we inflict on our own selves by judging the motives of people for what they do without hearing their side of the story.
In this post, OFFENCE II, we shall consider what to do about offences.
Jesus makes a powerful statement here in verse 6. A little background may help appreciate the above scripture. John the Baptist, a cousin of Jesus and six months older than Jesus, was the baptizer of Jesus. He did not just baptize Jesus; it was he who introduced Jesus to the world. John, by divine assignment, was already an accomplished preacher with a wide coverage of influence and respect. It was by his recommendation that Jesus found his feet in the preaching assignment. His testimony about Jesus helped to clear a lot of doubts in the minds of the people concerning Jesus.
At a point in time, he even had this to say: He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30.
I once heard a very interesting scenario from Dr. Mike Murdock. He told of a young, brilliant lawyer who had just completed his education and had been called to the bar. Life had become unbearable for this young lawyer because he had no clients, cases or money. One day, he went to visit an old, experienced, busy and rich lawyer to help him out.
This senior lawyer helped the young lawyer because he had been in that situation before. He placed his arm around the neck of the young lawyer, took a stroll through some busy streets and kept on having a heart-to-heart conversation publicly, and then finally let him go home. The young man got home looking very dejected. He had expected this experienced lawyer to have given him a few of his many clients to represent them in court in order to make ends meet.
A few days afterwards, his phone rang. Clients started bringing their cases to him. Why? People thought that if such a reputable lawyer would hang out with this young lawyer, then he had some credibility. What had happened? The senior lawyer deliberately introduced the young, intelligent lawyer to the corporate world by associating publicly with him, thereby recommending him.
John the Baptist, with all of his years’ experience had publicly approved of Jesus to the extent of losing two of his disciples to Jesus. Upon all these friendly gestures towards Jesus, he could not just believe that Jesus will not come and visit him when he was imprisoned. He expected at least one visitation from Jesus, but this never occurred. That offended him so much if he sent his disciples to go to Jesus and ask if he was the saviour or they should expect another saviour. It was to this question that Jesus mentioned that ‘… blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.’
What must you do when you feel offended?
1. Accept that you are really hurt by the action or perceived motive of another.
Rather than lie or pretend about it, come to terms with it. You can’t deal with hurt feelings until you acknowledge it.
2. Give the other person (offender) the benefit of the doubt.
There have been moments in my life that I realized how wrong I was in my conclusion after taking the time to listen to the explanations people gave for certain actions they took. Every human being, no matter how bad they might look, has some level of goodness in them, listen to people. Before you conclude on anybody, listen to them first. You may come to whatever conclusion you deem appropriate, but before you take that entrenched position, listen to them first.
3. Determine to have an offence free mentality.
Make a pledge not to entertain an opinion that God has offended you or man has offended you. Real offences abound daily all around us, but you don’t spend your mind’s energy on them. It’s like the saying that you can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from making their nests in your hair.
Joseph had every reason on earth to feel offended by his brothers, but
He looked at circumstances through the eyes of God. All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. And that includes offences.
4. Look beyond the offence to see what God might be up to with each offence you face.
How else would Joseph have ended in Egypt in the first place had his brothers not sold him? It was the false accusation of Potiphar’s wife that landed him in prison to meet Pharaoh’s servant, who later on gave him that golden opportunity in meeting with Pharaoh in later years.
As painful as offences are, there is a higher divine purpose with every offence that comes our way. Have a positive attitude towards the painful and devastating offences that come our way.
To err, they say, is human but to forgive, divine. We all require divine enablement to forgive our offenders. Submitting your life to Jesus will equip you to let go past hurt feelings.
Pray this prayer with me
Father, I come to you today just as I am; I have found my greatest challenge today I.e. I have no right standing with you because of the condemnation that passed unto all human beings. Save me as I open my heart and accept Jesus today as my Lord and Saviour. Thank you for saving me and giving a right standing in your presence today. Amen.
As simple as it may seem to you, you are saved or born again by this prayer of faith. You have been restored to your right place before God. Get a bible if you don’t have one yet and start reading it for yourself. May the Holy Spirit also be your guide.
In my subsequent blogging, I shall take you a step further in overcoming unforgiveness.