Do you ever get offended? Has someone ever hurt your feelings, opening the door for strife, anger or a damaged relationship?
Every day, we are presented with multiple opportunities to get offended. It can be as minor as someone cutting us off in traffic or stealing our parking spot. Other times we can feel deeply hurt by a friend’s rude or harsh comment.
What many people don’t know is that offense is one of Satan’s greatest tools to steal our peace and rob us of God’s blessings.
The word “offense” comes from the Greek word scandalon. It is an interesting word that literally describes a trap used to hold bait in order to lure animals.
Similarly, offense is the bait the enemy uses to trap us. He will use people’s words and actions to get our minds churning and stir up our emotions. He uses this bait to lure us into a lifetime of bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, strife, hatred and revenge.
I often say that Satan sets us up to get us upset. He knows our weaknesses and what buttons to push to send us over the edge.
The good news is we are smarter than our enemy because we have the mind of Christ! (See 1 Corinthians 2:16.) We can know the truth of God’s Word and don’t have to take his bait.
In other words, when somebody tries to give you offense, you decide whether you take it or not.
You may be thinking, Joyce, it’s so hard not to take offense sometimes! I understand how you feel, but we can refuse to be offended because God gives us self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23). This means we can control ourselves with God’s help and take responsibility for how we respond to life’s situations.
It’s easy to deflect our problems and place the responsibility on someone else, thinking, If you didn’t upset me, then I wouldn’t feel this way or If you would just do this, then I would be happy.
But the truth is we will never be free from any problem as long as we’re blaming somebody else. I’m not saying other people don’t do anything wrong; however, we can’t control what everyone else does, but we can choose how we are going to react!
First Corinthians 13:5 says love “is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (NIV). Love is a choice! I can choose to forgive and let it go, or I can hold on to the offense and let the hurt turn into something even worse.
For example, sometimes an offense starts out like a paper cut. It’s seemingly small, but if you don’t take care of it properly, it can begin to fester. In time, it can become infected and cause you a lot of pain.
I can tell you from experience that it’s so much better to take care of a problem when it’s little. It’s good to address it as quickly as possible before it has an opportunity to take root and turn into something more serious.
I’ve learned that the quicker I can forgive somebody, the easier it’s going to be. Sometimes this means being the first one to apologize and make peace — even if it’s not my fault!
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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 90 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Do Yourself a Favor…Forgive (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.