To be offended means to resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult.
The spirit of offense is an attitude/ force that makes people get offended even on very light and trivial issues and later leads to loosing vital relationships. Is it wrong to be offended? No? Even Jesus was offended and angry when the people were using God’s house for material gain/ business. Staying offended is a sin because it affects you and the people who are close to you. Offense may possibly be the greatest tool the enemy uses to break up godly ties. And sadly, we are not always taught well on how to handle these situations. Cain in the bible got offended when God didn’t approve of his offering, as a result, he killed his brother Abel.
Here are some of the reasons why people leave church
- Pastor did not shake hands with us.
2. I did not get the opportunity to serve in the church.
3. Nobody visits our house.
4. The greeter was rude.
5. it’s too noisy.
6. How could they say that about me?
7. They don’t appreciate what ido.
- Here are some reasons for divorces in a marriage:
- She doesn’t respect me.
2. He doesn’t care for me.
3. She did not make coffee.
4. He compared me with someone else.
5. She made fun of me.
Symptoms of the spirit of offense.
Strained relationships – The Bible says a brother offended is harder to win than a strong city and contentions are like the bars of a castle [Pro 18:19]
Resistance to authority – Those offended will not respond to the leadership in the church. The resistance may not be full-blown rebellion, but it is felt at sensitive times. Counsel is rejected, Ideas ignored and decision are overturned [Pro 19:20; Heb 13:17
Detachment and drifting – Detachment is first detected in an attitude of distancing, withdrawing from the hub of the church, the church at large and its flow. A drift in the wrong direction. [Pro 27:17; Psa 1:1-3; 27:1-10; 1 John 2:19]
Strongholds of vain imaginations – When the offense is deeply lodged in a person, that individual begins to see everything through the glasses of unresolved offense. The smallest action will be vainly enlarged into a strong hold of beliefs about his or her actions, words or attitudes. [2 Cor 10:3-4; Phil 4:1-3]
Effects of the offensive spirit.
Opened doors to satanic harassment – The demonic powers of hell are attracted to unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, gossip, backbiting, anger, hatred and like. To carry an offense is to open the door for satanic harassment [Eph 4:27]. The root of bitterness will spring up, causing trouble and by this many will be defiled [Heb 12:15]
Dried up rivers of the Holy Spirit – The fresh, powerful flow of the Holy Spirit in the believer is likened to a mighty river. When offenses are allowed to lodge inside our spiritual wells, they are like huge stones blocking the river’s flow. The loss of spiritual vitality and momentum, joy, and faith can be traced to unresolved offenses [John 7:37-39]
An unhealthy conscience – The conscience is the inner judge or umpire that expresses God’s holiness and reproves sin. It is the faculty of the spirit that approves or disapproves our thoughts, words and deeds. When unresolved offenses turn into unforgiveness or bitterness,, the conscience becomes weak, wounded, sick, unreliable and troubled [John 8:9; 1 Tim 1:19; Titus 1:15; Heb 10:22]
How to handle offense the biblical way.
Reconciliation – We must take responsibility to resolve offenses. We must take the initiative.
In handling offense that is directed at us, we have learned God’s prescribed method per Jesus’s teaching:
- Go to the individual that offended you alone/privately. Do not broadcast it to others.
- Make your approach in your conversation honestly; not vindictively or with anger.
- Reprove and/or rebuke the behavior or offense but do not be offensive while doing so.
- Seek to gain the brother or sister (reconcile and restore the relationship) rather than to take revenge.
- Be aware of over sensitivity and insensitivity on your own part and on the part of the person.
- Seek to grow in Spiritual Maturity:
- Be prayerful and sensitive in how we approach, respond to and deal with each situation.
- Be careful about how we treat one another. Seek to treat the other as you would wish to be treated.
- Do not vent or broadcast the issue to parties who are not involved.
- Ask for God’s grace to develop the Spiritual vision to see offenses coming and not be drawn into them;
- Pray for God’s grace to discern how to respond in a Godly way to specific situations and to specific people;
- Follow the steps outlined in Matt 18:
- Meet with the offender alone.
- Next, if the problem remains unresolved, take one or two with you as witnesses and judges “that every word may be established.” The integrity of witnesses and judges is important. Objective persons will either seek to bring the offender to repentance or even possibly to advise you that you were wrong, or possibly overly sensitive to offense.
- Always remember that the goal is not for you to win or get justice, but to “gain your brother”, by reconciling the relationship.
- If the matter is still unresolved, take it to the church. When the offense is of such a nature that it requires this serious measure we must remember that the goal is to “win the person” back to appropriate fellowship. Telling it to the church would involve taking the matter to spiritual leadership.
Recognize that the goal of Christ is always about saving the lost sheep, rescuing the lost, but also about relieving the body (the Church) from accusation and offense.
Remember that Christ is also concerned with weeding out impurity from the church o and protecting the sheep. If one church member is allowed to go on offending, then this one person can ultimately have the effect of destroying the church.
Should you want to speak with some one from Orphaned Heart Ministries, Please send an email to [email protected]