Love you all, praying for you.
I just love God’s Word. I love that God’s Word is so practical. Uncomfortable, but practical. Have you ever heard someone say the words, “No offense, but …” and they go on to say something that’s a bit rude? There is an interesting truth about offense. But there are also three commands regarding offense that are good to remember. Rule #1 of Offense: Don’t do it. Don’t offend people. Don’t use words needlessly harsh. A gentle answer turns away wrath, a soft tongue can break a bone. Be wise in the words you choose. Ask God what to say, when to say and when pray, and what words to use. You will offend people sometimes. Because the truth offends people, even when spoken in love. But don’t needlessly offend. Don’t say things to punish people, embarrass them, or beat them in an argument. How does that help them or you. If you love them, you want them to turn, not get trapped, or dug in… Don’t offend people with harsh words. Pleasant words promote instruction, it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. #2 Rule of Offence – Don’t take it. “No offense.” “None taken.” Here’s the interesting truth about offense… No one can offend you – only you can take offense. They may lay it out there, but you’re only offended if you pick it up. If you don’t - it just sits there. God said an undeserved curse does not come to rest. You might be surprised at who takes up your case for you. Who stands up to defend you, someone else can defend you better than you. God brings them. Just like “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth, someone else, and not your own lips.” This is also good advice for offense. Don’t bite… it’s bait, it’s a trap. If you know who’s really talking (their father, the accuser, the father of lies), and you know who your Father is. The Defender of the defenseless, the Father of the fatherless, the One before whom every demon and even the devil himself has to bow… then you won’t worry about it. You’ll let Him handle it. Proverbs 23:12 says, Do not move an ancient boundary stone, or encroach on the fields of the fatherless, for their Defender is strong, he will take up their case against you. You will only ever be offended, if you take offense. Don’t take it, pass. Let God handle it. He knows how, and He’s more powerful than you. But Danger Ahead! Warning! If what they say has some truth, even if they are intending to offend you, the moment of truth has arrived for you. You will either walk in humility or pride. God might have sent them. Remember, seek first, don’t sift first. Sometimes criticism comes from an imperfect messenger. Forget about them, your responsibility is you. Ask God is this something you want me to change or learn from or repent of? Don’t be offended, seek God for any truth that potentially offensive comments might contain. Listen - is the first step of humility. And Rule #3 of Offense. Forgive it. I’ll never forgive them for what they did! You’ve seen heartbreaking video of the distraught victims of lost loved ones, addressing the killer in court, wishing choice words about their soul’s destination, and saying I will never forgive you, in their grief and anger. But what they don’t realize, they just gave themselves the death sentence, not the offender. The murderer doesn’t care, and will never think about them again, but the victim just sentenced themselves to a prison of bitterness. That is a life sentence, and could be a shortened life at that. Forgive offense. Forgive people. Decide beforehand that you will, so you’ll be ready to when its needed. Think about all of your offenses and how God forgave you. Forgive Offense. Don’t let it hurt you - more than the offender who is usually oblivious. Love even your enemies, they are just doing the devil’s work, but God loves them. You did those same things at one time. God said something uncomfortable. If you don’t forgive those who sin against you, neither will your father in heaven forgive you of your sins. Wow. Like the man forgiven of huge debt that demanded payment of a little, and had the debtor thrown into prison. When the Judge heard of what they did, it was them who went to prison 'til they paid the very last penny. Offense is a trap that the devil tries to ensnare and enslave you with. Praise God, you’re free! Jesus’ blood covers you, the Holy Spirit empowers you to love people like God loves them, even the unlovely. You can leave offense with God, don’t take offense, be humble, and take courage – change what you need to change, and encourage yourself in the LORD. If God be for us, who can be against us. Praying that you’ll remember the three rules of offense. Don’t Do it, Don’t Take it, and Forgive it. Remember the warning: Don’t think you’re always right – listen, be humble. Strive to do what’s right, and treat others right. The more you walk in the Spirit – the easier and more joyful it gets. Freedom looks so good on you!
Love you all,
Kelly Kamentz - Jesus follower, husband, father, and friend, helping others surrender time, thoughts, money, and testimony, to fulfill their purpose!