I recently spoke about how so many people are living offended these days.
A few weeks ago, a book I wrote, Moving Forward, was released. I wrote the book because if there were one thing I could share with you, it would be the principle in this book. One thing that can keep you stuck is unforgiveness, carrying an offense.
We live in the age of offense.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an offense as something that outrages the moral or physical senses.
It is an emotional response – one that initially we can’t help but feel. Someone may have said or done something to hurt us or perhaps neglected us somehow, and we got offended.
Sometimes, if we don’t have anything to be offended at, we will be offended on behalf of other people.
Luke 17:1 (NKJV)
Then He (Jesus) said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!
Jesus knows we will all get offended, but we get to choose if we are going to live offended.
The offense says you hurt me, living offended says, I’ll never forgive you for that. An offense is an event that happened. Living offended is a decision. Offenses are inevitable; living offended is optional.
God’s Word tells us to love unconditionally, always forgive, and do everything within our power to live at peace with everyone.
However, an offense left unchecked can sever relationships.
If the world is supposed to know we are followers of Jesus by our love for one another, we can’t afford to be offended all of the time.
Offense leads to bitterness, bitterness leads to unforgiveness, and unforgiveness leads to severed relationships.
If we were wise, we would stop this progression before it even had a chance to begin.
Christine Caine said that the best advice she ever received was “choose not to stay offended.”
Bitterness, offense, and disappointment will take you out of your job, your marriage, your family, your ministry, or your calling probably quicker than immorality. An offense will be the thing to take you out. That is why scripture says,
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
If you allow toxic emotions such as offense, bitterness, anger, disappointment, unforgiveness, or discouragement to remain as unresolved issues, they will sabotage your destiny and purpose.
Here are ten verses you can read to help you choose not to live offended.
Proverbs 19:11 (NLT)
Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs.
Matthew 5:38-42 (NLT)
“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.
Luke 17:3-4 (NLT)
So watch yourselves! “If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”
Ephesians 4:1-3 (NLT)
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.
Proverbs 27: 5-6 (NLT)
An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
James 1:19-20 (NLT)
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires.
2 Timothy 2:24 (NLT)
A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people.
2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
Romans 12:17-21 (NLT)
Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
John 13:34-35 (NLT)
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”