by Barbara Latta
“That you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:10).
The prophet Isaiah said the Messiah would be an offense to many because his teaching would prick the conscience of those who wouldn’t believe (Isaiah 8:14). Christ is rejected
because so many don’t want to give up
the god of self. Society has taught the population to want everything their way
so that nothing even remotely goes against their senses.
|New offenses arise daily.|
The cause of offense
New offenses arise daily. Clothing, jewelry, flags displayed, memorials, statues, signs, and even something on a restaurant menu have become things of contention for some group somewhere. The last few weeks have brought about football players protesting the National Anthem being played before games.The politically correct climate we live in has gone so far into the ditch no one can see how to climb out. Those who embrace these philosophies are blinded to the point of making the ditch deeper.
I am not advocating giving up our freedom to speak and stand for our values. It’s the overt shout of the selfish that claim “I don’t like something so you shouldn’t have it or display it” which promotes “me-ism”. This attitude hurts everyone because the focus is on petty feelings. The rest of the population is forced to give in to the complainer to try to keep the peace. All this does is fuel someone else’s need to rant.
While all of us may not go to the extreme of demanding a sign or flag be removed in favor of our feelings, we can still let offense rise up in our emotions when we are wronged. We get hurt by things others say or do and if we are not careful a wound festers into a big scab.
Jesus warned his disciples what would happen in the last days, “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” Matthew 24:10-12
Offense causes lawlessness to abound. Recent violence in many states is an example of
what happens when someone is displeased with an event or decision made by
another party. False prophets will arise and their words tickle ears with
voices that shout you deserve to get what you want so don’t let anyone stand in
|The Sword of the Spirit arms us against offense.|
The best defense for offense is found in Philippians 1:11, “being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
If the fruits of righteousness are filling us there is no room for making such big issues out of small things. When the focus is on God and what he wants, desires that are wrong fade away and right ones take their place. When the Almighty One of the universe is at the heart of our feelings, we find out what is important. The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, will arm us against being offended.
When emotions rise over something that doesn’t really matter, put up your defense of righteousness and the offense won’t win.
Join the conversation and share your thoughts about standing against offense.