Luke 17:1 “ Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come!”
An offense is defines as: anger/displeasure, a cause for stumbling, a transgression, an injury or an attack. Jesus instructs the disciples that offenses are inevitable. Offenses come from both without and within. From our own flesh and foes, from friends and family, from spiritual wickedness in high places. There will ALWAYS be offenses against the children of God because the curse of sin has caused everything that is not of God to be at enmity with anything associated with God.
Offenses are widely considered, by our modern day world, enough to go to war with others. One offense leads to a retaliatory offense. It is natural to the flesh to desire the same offense to another that it received. Yet, Christ set a standard for handling offenses that serves the Kingdom of Heaven by glorifying God.
Too often we are quick to forget that it was our offenses against God that hung Christ on the cross at Calvary. Did God return these offenses against His holiness with further offenses against mankind? No, he made a way for the offenses to be undone if those guilty would repent from their wickedness. Likewise, we ought to suffer the discomfort, anger, pain, inconvenience and hinderances that are directed towards us for the glory of Christ.
If those that know God render evil for evil, we are not followers of God. If we cause offenses because we received them, we further the divide between God and those who do not know Jesus. If we retaliate as the world does, why would they desire to know about our God? They already have a world that inflicts pain upon them and commits offenses against them, they do not need more of the same.
If we suffer temporary offense in this flesh for the glory of God, we will have our reward in Heaven. Who cares about appeasing our ego? So what if I am offended, hurt or impeded?
My retaliation against a brother or sister in Christ, or against a lost soul, causes a new offense that I am responsible for. I can not control the lasting damage that may spread as a result. My injured pride may be the very thing that prevents someone from trusting in Christ, pushes someone out of the house of God, or permits a wedge to be driven into the church whereby Satan can dismantle a once fruitful congregation.
When offended, forgive. When impeded, graciously continue on for Christ. When injured, seek the Balm of Gilead. When insulted, remember that on your own you deserved Hell and nothing more.
Understand that we are servants, meant to minister to others on behalf of our Lord. We ought not to have any ego, pride, or altering motive. We do as the Master commands, suffer hardness with grace so that other do not think ill of the one whom we represent.
Your fellowservant in Christ,
Bro. Jordan Foster