Satan is the enemy of our soul. That is not a new concept to us. And we know that he knows our weaknesses and as such we should guard them so that he is not allowed to use them against us. But Satan is a master manipulator. He is a schemer. He knows that while you may guard your weaknesses you often leave your strengths vulnerable.
One of the snares he lays for us is that of Offense. It’s an easy snare for him to set and one that can trap even the Godliest of saints. Why? Because its often initially justified. To be offended at someone is a normal reaction when they do something that hurts you. The initial offense is not necessarily a sin. But refusing to forgive that offense and allowing it to remain and fester is.
It is one of his most deceptive and insidious kinds of bait and something that every Christian encounters. It seems like a harmless sin but, in actuality, it can be a very deadly sin. One that can strip you of your joy, strength and even your relationship with Christ if you hold onto it.
Offended people produce much fruit. But its rotten fruit. Instead of producing love, joy patience etc...they produce hurt, bitterness, anger, jealousy, resentment, strife and even hatred.
Some of the consequences of picking up an offense are insults, attacks, wounding, division, separation, broken relationships, betrayal, and losing our close relationship with Christ.
And many time those that are caught in the trap of offense do not even realize it. They are oblivious to their condition because they are so focused on the wrong that has been done to them.
The most effective way for the enemy to blind us is to cause us to focus on ourselves.
Don’t believe me? Try this: Look at your bible and read a scripture. Now bring the bible up to your face until its approximately 1 inch away. Now try to read that same verse. What do you see...blur...why? Nothing’s changed on the page. The letters are still there saying the same thing. But you can’t see them because it’s too close to you. Sometimes we are so close to the situation we lose perspective.
Proverbs 18:19 says A BROTHER OFFENDED IS HARDER TO WIN THAN A STRONG FORTIFIED CITY AND CONTENTIONS ARE LIKE THE BARS OF A CASTLE.
What does a fortified city have around it? WALLS! What purposes do walls serve?
*Walls keep unwanted invaders out. *It allows all who do enter to be screened *Those who owe taxes must pay before entering *Those considered a threat to health or safety are kept out.
When we give in to the offense we begin to build walls around our heart. This prevents future wounds but does nothing to cure the wounds that are growing and festering.
When we allow a wall of offense to be built around our heart we become selective, denying entry to all who we fear will hurt us.
1) We filter out anyone we think owes us something
2) We withhold access until these people have paid
their debts in full.
3) We open our lives only to those we believe are on
But, many times, those that we believe are on our side end up offending us, and so instead of helping, we stack additional stones on our walls and eventually, without our knowing when it happens, these walls of protection become a prison.
When that happens you become entangled with Satan’s chains of unforgiveness and bitterness. Chains that only the Holy Spirit can break.
If you feel the chains of offense beginning to ensnare you, you must break that hold. Start by asking GOD to forgive you for holding onto unforgiveness and then tell GOD that you release the hurt and bitterness and unforgiveness to Him and then you will be able to forgive.