Hebrews 12:15 (NIV) 15 See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) 11 A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.
Refuse to be offended! If you can be offended, Satan will find a way to offend you! There are so many ways offenses can take place. Often times, well-meaning Christians say the wrong thing. Sometimes their heart is right but it just comes out wrong. Sometimes their theology is wrong and they just flat say unbiblical, stupid things. They aren’t trying to offend anybody. In their own minds they are trying to help or encourage somebody. It may not come out that way, but it was their intention. Other times, Christians just say stupid stuff for stupid reasons. Maybe they are having a bad day. Maybe they haven’t read their Bibles or talked to Jesus in months and they are just flesh monsters! We as Christians must be people who are willing to forgive immediately. We must walk in forgiveness. Every moment you choose not to forgive, you are harboring bitterness. The quicker you forgive, the quicker you can kill that bitter root that you allowed to get started. You choose everyday whether you are going to walk in forgiveness or not. Every time you don’t walk in forgiveness, you are choosing to walk in bitterness.
According to the Bible, the real test of spiritual maturity is how we respond or react when we don’t get our way in any given situation or how we respond when someone hurts us. It’s easy to understand why unbelievers can be so easily offended. It’s even easy to understand why young believers can be easily offended. Which is why it is imperative we disciple those young believers quickly. They need to know the elementary truths of Scripture so they can learn to feed themselves and continue their spiritual journey with the Lord on their own. You see new Christians are very much like babies. When we have babies, they can’t do anything on their own except cry and excrete fluids. The parents have to do everything for them. As their bodies and minds grow, slowly they begin to do some things on their own. Each year they add to their repertoire, until eventually they can take care of themselves. In fact, that is our job as parents is to teach and train our children how to be responsible adults and how to be productive in society. So it is with new believers. In the beginning, they don’t know how to do anything for themselves, but as they are taught and trained by more mature believers, they slowly begin to learn how to do things for themselves. When discipleship is done well, they will grow up into mature believers and know how to feed themselves and they will become productive people in the Kingdom of God!
Unity is emphasized a lot in the New Testament. It appears to be a very necessary ingredient for the Kingdom of God to operate on earth. Almost every New Testament book emphasizes this point. The devil is trying to wreak havoc and bring dissension & disunity to the body. If he is successful, he slows down Kingdom growth and he destroys the lives of those trying to follow Christ.
How can we hold offenses against our brothers and sisters, knowing full well Jesus accepted us when we were in rebellion, when we were sinners, when we were enemies of the cross! Be quick to forgive, choose to walk in unity so that the blessing of God can be on your life and in the life of the church!
Consumed by the call,