Have you ever experienced an offense at the hands of your Christian brothers or sisters? Unfortunately, being offended happens at one point or another in our walk. It doesn’t make you a bad Christian to be hurt or offended. But when it does happen, we have a choice to turn it into a journey and move on or we can create a resting place and hold onto what happened.
HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?
The devil is sly. You might think you’re not easily offended and always try to do your best to keep your focus on Jesus. But when you feel slighted or offended, again and again, it gets hard sometimes to keep your focus where it needs to be. Sometimes others will deliberately hurt you out of something they are dealing with that really has nothing to do with you. Sometimes it’s something innocent that happens. The devil will whisper so many lies in your ears either way. He will take an innocent remark or action and convince you there was ill intent involved. You will find yourself questioning things. You will begin to doubt yourself, your circumstances and sometimes even God’s will in your life.
So now you’ve got a problem. You need to handle the situation in a godly way if you want out of it. But how? By staying quiet and taking it to God in prayer. It may not be easy but try to do your best to give the situation to him, and trust him to deal with it his way, in his time. He will either change you, the other person or the entire situation. But if you give it to God and pray about it, things will not stay the same.
IT WON’T BE EASY TO MOVE ON
While you are standing firm, patiently waiting for God to deal with the situation, do your best to be a blessing to the other person or situation. Keep reminding yourself that the turmoil you are experiencing is the devil making a small matter into a big deal. And small matters really don’t matter. Why? Because those small things are only scenery in your life and scenery changes every day, moment by moment. That’s why life is a journey. We have to keep moving forward. If we stop and rest in the offense, it would become a big deal again and then you won’t grow. But God says we are passing through this life so he doesn’t want us to get stuck. You can’t pass through and stand still at the same time.
HURT? THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS INSTEAD
God won’t make you move forward. The difficult situation you find yourself in is either a journey or a resting place but it has to be your choice. You have to be patient and hold steadfast while God does his mighty work. Otherwise, you let the small offense, and ultimately Satan, control you. It won’t be easy to go against your flesh and give it to God but you CAN do it.
“In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report: if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:6-8 WEB)
God says to think on these things: what is pure, lovely, admirable, true, honorable, right, excellent, and worthy of praise. You may feel what you have experienced was none of those things but God doesn’t want you to focus on that negative stuff. Find something about the situation that is pure, lovely, admirable, true, honorable, right, excellent, or worthy of praise. It might be hard but God will help you dig deep. Soon you will notice Gods peace. You will begin to notice little sparks of faith that somehow God is working the situation out the way it was meant to be.
“The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9 WEB)
THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD
The offense or rejection you feel may have been very real. When you try to handle it on your own (in the flesh) something will always happen to convince you that you were justified in how you felt. But knowing you’re justified doesn’t make it better. Only God can make it better because ultimately it is a spiritual battle that belongs to the Lord.
“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15 KJV)
“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them. For the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV)
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF AND THE SITUATION
As long as you turn to him and are obedient, God will take care of your situation. Remember, it is a spiritual battle God will win. As he is taking care of whatever it is he needs to take care of, He will also continue to work in you to prepare you for the next battle. Because there WILL be a next battle. And another one after that until Jesus calls us home.
“For it is God who works in you both the willing and the working according to his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13 DARBY)
So the next time you are offended, you have a choice. Will you allow it to be a journey in your life to propel you forward or will you allow it to be a resting place that you stay in and hang around as you dwell in your offense?