Have you ever been offended? Is there someone just can't quite forgive?
Are you having trouble moving on with your life?
Then you need to free yourself from the Spirit of Offense!
1 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!
2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.
4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
Oh how sneaky the Spirit of Offense is! It creeps up on you when you least expect it, and will give you all kinds of excuses to hang onto it. In most cases, offenses are petty and immature for both the offender, and the person offended. If you're honest with yourself, you have more than likely been guilty on both sides of the offense. Jesus told us that it is impossible for offenses not to come. We are human, we have all been in a situation where someone said something that didn't make us feel very good. Perhaps you walked up on a group of your friends talking about you behind your back. It could also be as simple as your sister forgetting your birthday. The thing is, we can't stay offended! We have to forgive and let those things go. Let's address what keeps the Spirit of Offense at work:
There are two parts to how pride can affect us from keeping offenses:
1. Pride will keep you from apologizing
2. Pride will keep you from releasing forgiveness for the offense
Note: In some cases, offenses might seem justifiable because of the severity of what took place. For example, if you have a loved one that was murdered - it would be incredibly difficult not to be offended and wounded by the person who committed that horrible crime. Some of you may have suffered varying forms of physical, or emotional abuse that plays over and over again in your mind and doesn't seem to end. In those instances, I encourage you to reach out to someone on our prayer team or to someone you trust. Forgiving someone for committing a crime against you our your family can be a painful process, but by the grace of God it is possible. This may be a key in helping you move forward in your life.
WHAT IF THERE IS NO REPENTANCE?
What if you never get an apology from someone who offended you or hurt your feelings? Do you know how to handle it appropriately? Can you choose to forgive, even when it's not asked of you?
LET IT GO
9 He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.
10 Rebuke is more effective for a wise man Than a hundred blows on a fool.
12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.
If you choose to hang onto the offense, and keep rehearsing it in your mind, talking about it and choosing not to forgive - then you open the door to be tormented. You are choosing give your peace and joy away by allowing the enemy to attack your soul (your mind, will and emotions). ITS NOT WORTH IT! Don't give your peace and joy away to the enemy! (Remember, your enemy is not the person who offended you, it's Satan). Satan tries to keep us in strife with one another so that we aren't loving and building each other up.
That's a major reason I encourage you to apply the Armor of God, every day (see Ephesians 6:10-18). The Shield of Faith extinguishes every fiery dart Satan will try to throw your way. Offense is nothing more than a distraction to keep you from walking in love, and will stunt your growth in God. If Satan can keep you offended, then he can render you useless in the Kingdom of God. If Jesus was able to die on the cross for even our deepest, darkest sin - surely we can follow His example and forgive each other.
BE SLOW TO ANGER
11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.
All too often, we immediately react in our flesh when offenses come. Jesus warns us that it will happen, so we must take steps and be prepared to handle them. First things first, compose yourself. Don't give Satan time to let you dwell on what happened. Take a minute to cool off, then immediately choose to forgive and ask God heal your soul. Once you have peace in your soul, command the Spirit of Offense to loose you in Jesus name - and it must leave! That doesn't mean you won't be reminded of that pain or offense, but when those thoughts return, remind yourself that you are walking in love and forgiveness. Don't allow anger and resentment to set in. Choose instead, to overlook what was done to you and rejoice in what Jesus did for you!
Free yourself from the Spirit of Offense!
Father, I admit that I have held on to offenses and that I need help letting them go. I choose right now to let You heal my soul from these wounds and I choose to forgive the offenses hurled at me. I choose to forgive (insert person's name) for doing (insert offense). I also forgive myself for holding on to this offense. I choose to change my attitude toward (insert person's name) and these offenses. Free my soul from the weight of these offenses! I will not give my peace and joy away any longer! Help me up in this area of my life.
In Jesus' name I pray,