I am truly amazed that the art of being offended and giving an offense have been raised to a new level of Christian etiquette. Why is it that many Believers wish for peace, even speak about it, but do not follow the things that make for peace?
And what are the things that make for peace except humility, meekness, self-denial, and love? How does a child of God edify another while quarreling and contending? Remember Jacob? He actually contended with God and got his hip knocked out of joint, for pete's sake!
Romans 14:19-21 states, "Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or made weak."NKJV
I like the way The Message says this. "So let's agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don't drag them down by finding fault. You're certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God's work among you, are you? I said it before and I'll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don't eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love."
When one pampers the flesh and fulfills its lusts others get hurt by willful offense given. Your response should never be to take the offense however. Why? Because taking an offense can in no way further the Kingdom of God nor does it allow love to cover the misguided or misinterpreted words of another. Our only responsibility when feeling offended is to respond in love to that situation or person who may have instigated the process.
Proverbs 17:19 in the NKJV states, "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends." Talk about a way to lose friends, FAST!
Holding onto an offense is rooted in pride. The by-product then becomes unforgiveness and the result is a hardened heart and bitterness. This is displeasing to the Father and fruitless. If we are to abide in Christ then take heed to what scripture tells us in Proverbs 19:11, "wisdom gives a man patience and it is to his glory to overlook an offense."NKJV
GBY! Barbara :)
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