This morning while reflecting on something that had just happened to me, I began to think about offense. I knew, regardless of the circumstance, I could not allow or afford offense. Therefore, I was praying that I would not take offense. In that moment, two different things came to mind.
First, I thought about sitting on my pastor’s sofa one day talking to her about someone who had hurt me deeply. In the middle of our conversation, she threw this little ball that she had in her hand at me. Stunned, I grabbed the ball. She went on to say, “Offense is just like that, I can throw it at you, but you don’t have to catch it.”
I have never forgotten that lesson – when offense is thrown my way, I do my best to let it slip on by and not allow it to get in my heart.
Proverbs 19:11 says, good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.
The Passion Translation says it like this, A wise person demonstrates patience, for mercy means holding your tongue.
The second thing that came to mind was something God once asked me. It was again during a time when I was tempted to be offended at something that had happened to me.
After this incident, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Kim, do you think a stopped up well is the same as a dry well? Will it have the same results?”
My response was, “Yes, both would hinder water from flowing through.” He gently spoke and said, “You are correct, your well is not dry, it is stopped up, unstop your well.”
Offense will stop up our well – the water/ refreshing of God will not freely flow if we allow and receive offense.
Matthew 18:6 says, But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
Avoiding offense and offending others has been quite difficult in the past couple years. It seems no matter what we say, someone gets offended. While me may be unable to avoid offense all together – we can do better.
It may seem that almost daily someone is saying something to you that could be offensive. If so, be quick to forgive and forget it. Don’t allow it to remain in your heart and don’t mull it over and again in your thoughts. Instead fill your mind with the Word of God.
Offense is defined as, an annoyance or resentment brought about by a perceived insult.
A perceived insult.
It’s all up to us – how we perceive it. Even if the person intends to insult you – you do not have to accept it the way they intended it. We can take the high ground and walk away. We can allow the insult to pass on by. We can choose to love like God loves us – unconditionally.
But what happens when we choose to become offended? Proverbs 18:19 tells us.
It is easier to conquer a strong city than to win back a friend whom you’ve offended. Their walls go up, making it nearly impossible to win them back.
A person who takes offense is hard to get through to – hard to win over. The Bible says it is almost impossible. They build walls of offense around them, when that happens, nothing good can get in. God cannot get in. His Word can’t get in. The same thing happens when we become offended. Walls go up immediately.
If offense comes your way – even if it is from someone you love – refuse it. Do not take it as yours. Refuse to allow walls of offense. Instead build walls of the Word of God and the love of God. Build a wall that contains God in His fulness, not one that keeps Him out. How do we do that? By refusing offense.
Today, I want to encourage you to seek God. Ask Him if there are any things you need to repent of that may have stopped up your well. Ask Him to show you any areas of offense, whether you are the one causing offense, or the one who is offended. If this is you, repent and go another direction. Only then can the refreshing water of God flow freely in our lives. That alone is worth refusing offense, don’t you think?