THE TYRANNY OF OFFENSE
It is inevitable that offenses will come. Luke 17:1
Or, as the Passion Translation says, Betrayals are inevitable, but great devastation will come to the one guilty of betraying others.
The word used here for offense or betrayal is skandalon meaning trap or snare—baited, spring-loaded and ready to pounce. The offense trap that betrays us provokes us to betray others through resentment, anger, injury and revenge.
Studies show that we have a 70% chance of being offended on any given day! And that may be on a good day, since we live in a culture that has elevated offense to an art form.
Reflexively offended is not only sanctioned but rewarded in our time. Like rewarding children for temper tantrums, legitimizing offense breeds a culture of complaint, resentment and deep distrust from which there is only one way out.
Rather than answer offense with offense, respond in the opposite spirit. Let go of offense. Refuse to play along with the tyranny of the two-year old. Choose instead to live in the counter-culture status of the unoffended.
Jesus calls us to be unoffendable. Blessed is the one who is not offended in me. Matthew 11:6 NIV
Nothing cuts us off from God’s presence and blessing as fast as offense.
Are you aware of a place you are offended? If you are holding offense, then offense is holding you. Whether the injury is real or perceived, major or minor, you are the one who will suffer for carrying it. You are the one held captive to its tyranny.
Does it ever surprise you how quickly offense can move in and make itself comfortable? Is it time to let it go?
If so, find a quiet place today to take the divine axe to the hurt you’ve carried.
Forgive the one who hurt you.
Forgive out loud.
Pull out every shard of pain, injury or betrayal and give them one by one to God.
Don’t pick them up again.
Forgive the one who offended you and receive the freedom of living unoffended. Share your gift with the world.