The Bondage of an Offense and Six Healing Steps

9 03 2020

Many years ago, I worked with someone who continually picked up offenses.  With tremendous immaturity and insecurity, they made life miserable for everyone around them.  We walked on eggshells when this person was present.

 

In reality, their unmet, inordinately high expectations in everyone but themself inhibited the vision of the ministry, inhibited the effectiveness of the staff to work together and literally put this person in a passive control of everyone.  To confront this person meant certain retribution from them because in order to maintain their offenses, they had to be right.

 

Offended persons value being right before relationship since it validates and justifies their holding onto the offense.  Offended persons concentrate and perceive what everyone else is doing to them.  It is a self-centered, narcissistic way of living.  Proverbs says it this way, “An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city…”

 

As believers, it is unacceptable to live with an offended spirit.  Our offenses expose the weakness of us, because we choose to be offended.  Jesus does not want us to walk in offense and become bitter persons; He wants us to be “deader” persons.

 

Dead people do not take an offense (see Romans 14: 7-8).  Jesus, Himself, who had plenty of opportunity to take offense at the Pharisees, once said that offenses will come, but woe to whom they come through (Luke 17:1-3).  Being offended and offending are from the same source, the spirit of self.

 

We walk in pride when we feel that we do not receive the recognition that we should receive and become offended.  We dislike being told what to do or being corrected and accountable and so we take up an offense.  We develop an overly sensitive spirit and then keep people away who might love us enough to tell us the truth about our overreacting.

 

Again, Proverbs reveals that wounds from a friend can be trusted.  Someone said it this way, “A friend will stab you from the front.”

 

Simply stated, the cross is about love and love does not offend.  Love is the ultimate cure for offenses.  Jesus died for those offenses so that we do not need to pick them up.

 

Can we offense proof our self?  Here are six suggestions to help.

 

  1. Catch it early. You know in your sprit when an offense is in the early stages because you feel the jab of a personal wound.  Do not embrace it (see Proverbs 19:11).
  2. Be honest with yourself and your emotions. Do not be in denial; accept the feelings you have of anger or letdown and disappointment.  (Romans 12:3; Galatians 6:4)
  3. As quickly as possible, speak blessing over the one who spoke what you determined to be offensive words. Those words of blessing will override negative thoughts so as to not nurse the hurt you may also feel.  (Luke 6:27-28)
  4. Ask God to show you the truth and the positive in the matter. How will He use it to grow you?  What steps can you take toward knowing that all things work together for good?  (Romans 8:28-29)
  5. Go to the person(s) and face the situation by confronting your own feelings and do your best to be reconciled. (Matthew 7:12)
  6. Forgive quickly and do not harbor an offense, release it. (Colossians 3: 12-15 NLT)

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