The Dangers of Offense
Updated: May 26, 2022
1 Peter 5:8- Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
We have to understand that the enemy is skilled in deceiving God’s people into offense. In fact, this topic is so great that I won’t even begin to touch the surface in this blog and therefore I will write a book coming soon. However, I will share what Yahweh has put on my heart in regards to offense during the many years of being in ministry. This mass deception has caused many in the body of Christ to walk in offense while justifying ungodly behavior. At the root of it, there is usually something within the offended person that needs to be given deeper attention. See, the “adversary the devil that prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” will easily attach himself to a wounded soul. That is the open door. Offense is generally triggered by a negative emotion that’s stemmed from a past experience, situation, or words that left a wound that’s still unresolved within us. Often times a comment or action strikes a past pain that has not been healed yet. A person may have felt rejected, invalidated, disrespected, low, undervalued or unappreciated. A person feels insecure and seeks the validation of man and therefore being offended is a way to validate or address the pain that a person may not have been able to express in the past. The pain has been suppressed in disbelief that an experience actually happened. Now, it is as if they are standing up for themselves in a way that they were not previously able to do at the time the pain was originally inflicted.
Offenses usually occur when someone says something to us too harshly—or perhaps we perceive it that way. It can also occur when we perceive that we have been ignored, overlooked or given a responsibility we do not want. Or we become offended when we are blamed for something we did not do, or on the other hand, when we do not receive credit for what we did do. The ways to become offended are endless. However, all of the above mentioned do not touch the surface of the severity of what Jesus expressed in the New Testament in regards to the topic. In most cases, Jesus uses the term as endangering our salvation depending on how we react to the perceived offense. This is because of what we have allowed into our heart and if it goes without repentance can certainly hinder us because Yahweh judges the heart not our church involvement. Offense is more than just being hurt or upset. It’s holding a grudge, fostering bitterness, jealously, contempt, and allowing the wrong or perceived wrong to change the condition of your heart and pollute your emotions and thinking. Offense is very dangerous because it makes the person who is offended blind. I repeatedly say offense is a choice, and if you choose to be offended it makes you blind to the other person’s positive qualities while only focusing on the negative. It contaminates your thinking of a person and causes you to recall everything you don’t like about a person. In fact, things that were never a problem can begin to seem like a problem because offense truly permeates throughout your mind and taints your view altogether. You begin to highlight everything you consider a flaw. It can drive a person to try and seek how they need justice/revenge. Of course at this point it is not the justice of God, but an attempt to make the person who hurt you feel the pain they inflicted on you or cause them to suffer. In other cases it may not be as extreme, but merely the emotions/feelings of contempt and resentment that you hold in your heart towards the person that makes you disassociate with them without going to that person and pointing out the offense as Jesus instructs in Matthew 18:15, “moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother." In other words, offense hardens the heart and makes you incapable of loving the person that you were offended by. We are commanded to love. Read 1 John 4:20-21.
Offense has ruined many friendships, marriages, ministries and relationships altogether. It has deceived many professing believers to believe their response to being offended is justified. The spirit of offense has kept many people in bondage while blaming others for the outcome of their life. Please understand I am not excusing the behavior of those whose intent is to truly hurt or bring harm upon someone’s life. That is not the heart of God. However, we do see in the Gospels how Yeshua responded to this kind of infliction upon his life unto the Cross. Jesus prayed that the Father would forgive them for they know not what they do in Luke 23:34. It is very hard to pray for those you resent in your heart. This is why it’s so important to care for the condition of our hearts and not allow offenses. Our hearts affect how we interpret the world, situations, and others. Rest assure, when we go before the Lord he will always deal with our heart to either repent and/or make peace with our brothers or sisters.
1. We must realize that people are not our enemy. Ephesians 6:10-13
The enemy loves to put our focus on people and if we are not in a place of maturity to recognize the schemes of the enemy we will fall every time. Yes, that person is the one who caused pain but the real adversary has a far greater agenda than the pain that was inflicted upon your life. Stay alert.
2. Offense is a choice. When you feel offended, stop and evaluate the heart of why you responded the way you did before offense has the opportunity to grow. Perhaps something unresolved was triggered and needs to be healed so your perception is not tainted. Perhaps there is pride that needs to be confessed. This does not mean an intentional offender is off the hook, but rather you choose to forgive that person and not give the enemy room in your heart. God evaluates the heart.
3. Allow God to heal your heart. Allow God to heal the broken places of rejection, verbal/physical abuse, betrayal, mistreatment or whatever it is that is broken so the enemy no longer has anything to attach himself to in your life. Psalm 51:10
4. Repent. You must repent for what you’ve allowed to take root in your heart that did not align with the heart of God. That is the biggest foothold the enemy can have in our life.
5. Confront. A person must acknowledge that hurt or offense has happened. If needed, address the wrong with the other person. However, you must decide to resolve the conflict in a God honoring manner instead of choosing to be offended or not addressing the issue at all. This is what feeds into the enemy’s plan of ruining friendships, marriages, ministries, or any relationships for that matter.
Book to come soon……