Is it right to live unoffendable anymore? Don’t we have to fight for our rights? Learn how you be more unoffendable today.
I live unoffendable.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
How can we live unoffendable?
I saw a sign at the side of the road. It was advertising ads space. It is a sign of a monkey sitting on a tree looking at a sign advertising bananas.
And I got a little offended.
Is the company telling me I’m the monkey and it’s easy to sell to me?
If I decide to buy that advertising space I’m definitely the monkey they sold the banana to.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is for us to take offence?
I’ve come to realize that if I get offended over adverting, or I get offended over a political party calling me an “extremists” they are wanting to fight, or I get offended over my life not lining up with the will of God expressed in Scripture…
…It’s time I examine my heart. I need to make sure that bitterness has not taken root.
Peterson translates the writer of the book of Hebrews this way:
Work at getting along with each other and with God. Otherwise you’ll never get so much as a glimpse of God. Make sure no one gets left out of God’s generosity. Keep a sharp eye out for weeds of bitter discontent. A thistle or two gone to seed can ruin a whole garden in no time. Hebrews 12:14-15 The Message (MSG)
Look at another version of this:
Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord. Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many. Hebrews 12:14-15 HCSB
Bitterness causes trouble and defiles many.
We have two problems.
First, we live in a world where offence happens. Jesus said, Offences will certainly come… Luke 17:1
Hurt people hurt people. Everyone looks out for their own interests. We can only put up with stupid for so long.
There’s really nothing we can do about it. The second problem we can do something about.
The second problem is, some days – we like to be offended.
Being offended saves us time. It doesn’t put us out of way. We actually get momentary satisfaction from it. Hey, if we’re going to compare ourselves with others anyway, why not compare ourselves with people who don’t have it all together so we can just be a little bit judgemental?
Offence justifies us withholding love.
Danny Silk in his book “Culture of Honor” lays this out.
“We as believers living in this wider culture have to be aware of the schemes of the enemy. We have to be aware of how natural it is to be offended, and what offence does to you. What offence does to you is it justifies you withholding your love. I get to withhold my love from you when you have broken the rules, because people who fail are unworthy of love, and they deserve to be punished. In fact, what punishment looks like most often is withholding love. And when I withhold love, anxiety fills the void, and a spirit of fear directs my behaviour toward the offender.” (Danny Silk, Culture of Honour 93)
Offence will come and we’ll want to cling to it sometimes. But how we deal with it affects the people around us.
Someone offends me
As a child of the King, you don’t have a choice to live unoffendable.
You need to battle bitterness.
The Bible tells us to put off bitterness.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
I believe we battle bitterness on two fronts. We can be offended at people. We can be offended at God. We need different approaches to battle bitterness with both. These are huge topics so we’re only going to look at being offended at people today.
Paul’s already given us the strategy, but let’s unpack more of the scripture around it.
Offended at People
Jesus taught Luke 17:1-4
“He said to His disciples, “Offences will certainly come, but woe to the one they come through! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble. Be on your guard. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and comes back to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” Luke 17:1-4 HCSB
In order to battle bitterness when we are offended at others, we need to:
Let’s pick up on the disciples response to Jesus telling them to forgive others seven times a day. :
“The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”” Luke 17:5 HCSB
It looks like the disciples did not think they had enough faith to forgive anyone that much. For them it seems that faith = forgiving others. Jesus’ response is something amazing.
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,” the Lord said, “you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. “Which one of you having a slave tending sheep or plowing will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? Instead, will he not tell him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, get ready, and serve me while I eat and drink; later you can eat and drink’? Does he thank that slave because he did what was commanded? In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, ‘We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.’ ””Luke 17:6-10 HCSB
Basically he said to them, “I told you to forgive so forgive. It’s not about how much faith you have.”
The disciples seem to think forgiving someone seven times – which means completely, fully and completely – needs to be done with more faith than they have.
So how are we supposed to we forgive?
Another time Jesus teaches on forgiveness he uses a parable.
“If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you. I assure you: Whatever you bind on earth is already bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed in heaven. Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.” Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times? ” “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven. For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began to settle accounts, one who owed 10,000 talents was brought before him. Since he had no way to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. “At this, the slave fell facedown before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything! ’ Then the master of that slave had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan. “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 denarii. He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe! ’ “At this, his fellow slave fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he wasn’t willing. On the contrary, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. When the other slaves saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. “Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you? ’ And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart.””Matthew 18:15-35 HCSB
What does it mean to forgive from your heart?
It’s a lot like the number 7 – which means completely, fully and completely.
Your heart is the seat of your decision , the seat of your action AND the seat of your emotion.
So forgiveness is a decision, it’s a choice. You decide to forgive.
And sometimes that’s all you need. For start acting and feeling that you’ve forgiven.
Other times you need to do more than just decide to forgive. You need to put an action to it. Forgiveness is an action. Sometimes that’s as simple as blessing the one who did you wrong.
Jesus taught his disciples:
“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:27-36 HCSB
Paul teaches us:
“If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord. But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”Romans 12:18-21 HCSB
So blessing is an action that shows forgiveness.
Forgiveness is also an emotion
Sometimes, when you to decide to forgive and then show that you’ve forgiven by blessing the person that did you wrong your feelings fall into line and you begin to feel that you’ve forgiven.
Other times, feeling you’ve forgiven is next to impossible.
But God is God of the impossible and Jesus wouldn’t have told us to forgive from the heart if it wasn’t possible.
You need to follow those feelings of unforgiveness.
What would happen if you chose to forgive? What lie are you believing? Why are you believing that lie. Ask Jesus to show you when that lie became embedded in your understanding. Let him show you the truth of what happened.
This is how you put off bitterness. You learn to forgive others with your whole heart.
Let’s pause now and invite Holy Spirit to do some work. Maybe you see the symptoms but don’t know the cause. You feel bitterness and you know you need to put it off. Ask Jesus if there’s someone you need to forgive.
Did someone come to mind?
Will you make the choice to forgive?
Will you choose to bless them in word and, where possible, in deed?
Will you ask Holy Spirit to speak truth to your pain?
Father, I acknowledge that I've held resentment and bitterness against _______________. I confess this as sin and ask you to forgive me. I forgive __________________. Remind me, Lord, to not hold any more resentments, but rather to love this person. Father, I ask you to also forgive ______________________. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name, Amen.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”Ephesians 4:31-32 NLT
As you live unoffendable you will battle bitterness so when other people offend you, forgive them from the heart.
Do you need more help to live unoffendable? I can walk you through it with coaching. Get your complimentary coaching call today https://revtrev.com/coaching