Jesus told us in Matthew 18:7-9 that offences MUST ALWAYS COME TO US and we must take extreme measures to avoid it taking us to hell.
We must also beware if we are always allowing offences get to others through us because a woe has been pronounced on all who do such.
Jesus said we should cut off any part of us causing us to become offended otherwise that part of us can take our entire body to hell.
Many time we interpret this to mean we should cut off from others very close to us who offend us.
That’s not what it means because if we were to do that, we will have no relationships left because even our spouses can cause us offence frequently.
Rather we see several scriptures that say we should learn to respond in love and forgiveness.
So what does Jesus mean when He said cut of your hand or any other part of you causing you offence?
First thing we must see is that He is talking about something that is a part of us not part of someone else.
Let me use an example to illustrate this.
Let’s assume someone is treating me badly by disregarding my position and personality while trying to humiliate me publicly.
He is trying to pass offences to me.
However it takes my pride to be involved before I can ever get offended.
If I have died to pride and have learned the way of humility, everything that person did will not get me offended.
My pride is actually what is causing me to get offended.
In Jesus’ words, I have to cut off or kill my pride so that offences can’t come through to me to get me offended.
So we must see that it takes a combination of external and internal factors for offences to get to us.
We may not be able to control the external factors but we sure can deal decisively with the inner factors by killing or cutting them off as Jesus recommended.
We are to put to death or mortify the evil tendencies of the flesh (Col 3:5).
When offences do come to us, the blessing in them is in when we decide not to allow them get us offended in Christ Jesus (Matthew 11:1-6).
The man who despite the offences that come to him chooses not to get offended in Christ Jesus is blessed.
We love to have people around us who will only do things that promote our goodwill.
We love to hear them say good things about us, pray always for us, make sacrifices for us, fight for our course, etc.
However we must realize that there are going to be those who will do things that will get us offended in them and possibly offended also in Jesus.
We get offended in Jesus if we feel Jesus isn’t quick to respond to rescue us from these people causing the offences as we saw in the case of John the Baptist.
John became offended in Jesus because in his estimation, Jesus didn’t do anything about rescuing him from prison.
Being offended in Christ Jesus often makes many of our relationships with God strained because we have judged Him too slow to respond to deliver us from the issues causing the offences or too slow to punish those causing us the offences.
Offences are even more hurtful if they come our way from those we trust or those we have helped or sacrificed for in the past or those who are close and dear to our hearts, etc.
It happens in marriages, extended families, business relationships, work environments and even in Church.
Its hard for us to rationalize how they could do such a thing to hurt us.
No matter how the offences come we must refuse to allow it settle down and take root.
Offences breed bitterness, hatred and unforgiveness which will plunge us into darkness (1John 2:9-11).
We give advantage and room to the devil each time we allow this to happen (2Cor 2:10-11, Eph 4:26-27).
Once Satan has the room to operate and the advantage we gave him over us, anything evil can follow!
Its therefore important that we choose ahead of time before offences ever come that we are not going to allow it have a place.
We will not be offended in those who hurt us or in Jesus Christ even if it feels He isn’t responding as we expected to get us out of the challenges.
Allowing the Holy Spirit produce the fruit of love in us is core to solving the challenge of offences.
This gives us inner strength to love our enemies and everyone else through whom offences come to us.
We will be positioned with an attitude that suffocates bitterness, strife, hatred and unforgiveness but allows love and forgiveness to thrive.
This is our call!
To live and thrive only in an atmosphere of love free from offences.
I pray that everyone held bound by bitterness, strife, unforgiveness be released now from that hold and I decree we receive grace to walk in love against all odds in Jesus name amen.