Offending Others

Last time we spoke on Being Offended. We saw how Jesus is our example. From the cross, He forgave those who had offended, those who crucified Him. He did not hold it against them, even though they never went to him with an apology. Let's now look at the subject of offending others.

According to Scripture we are to walk in the fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22-23
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

The deeds of the flesh are:
Galatians 5:19-21
"Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, [20] idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, [21] envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, ..."

If we are walking in the flesh, we will offend others. God does not want us to be an offense to others because we are walking in the flesh. So we must pray for the fruit of the Spirit to be in our lives.

However, did you know that people can get offended even if we are walking in the Spirit? Jesus always walked in the Spirit. If He ever walked in the flesh it would have been sin, and He never sinned. Jesus walked in the Spirit, but people still got offended by Him. Very offended, just look at the Pharisees. And Jesus said "mean" words. He called them snakes, said their father was Satan, and called them hypocrites.

Or what about when the Synagogue was offended by Stephen. Scripture states he was full of the Holy Spirit. Yet he said they were stiff-necked, had uncircumcised hearts and called them murderers. These were "harsh" words.

There are times to speak words of truth. There are times to be confrontational. There are times you will offend by speaking truth. We should never not speak the truth because it will offend. The measuring stick is not if what we say will be seen as offensive.
The measuring stick is:

1. Are we walking in the Spirit
2. Is God asking us to speak the offensive, at times 'harsh' words?

If so we must be obedient.

One last comment. After Jesus spoke the hard words, He never apologized. He never asked for forgiveness. He did not waste His time trying to make everything ok. Sometimes as Christians we waste much time trying to make things right with people who have been offended. Some thrive off of being the victim and wanting a pity party. They seem to live off being offended. If we have offended someone because of walking in the flesh we need to seek the persons forgiveness, but we should not let their unwillingness to forgive us hinder our walk with God.

In the last nugget we started it by saying "Many times the degree of the division in the church is the degree of the offendedness in the hearts of the saints." Let's put away offenses. Let's not harbor an offense, and let's not offend because we are walking in the flesh. Once again, Jesus is our example.


To the world, you may just be somebody...but to somebody, you may be the world.

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Richard D. Dover
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