Getting you offended is Satan's goal. Once you've become offended, you are in his trap. However, before you actually reach that point, God gives you opportunities sent by heaven to escape the trap of offense.
How? It often comes by instruction, correction, reproof or rebuke. Every parent knows that the strongest kids are those who heed correction.
Godâ€™s kids are the same. They need correction. I still need it even though I am a leader in the Church. We never reach such maturity that we are not in need of correction. Even if you havenâ€™t really needed it for a long time, you must maintain a heart that will receive correction and even rebuke.
Rebuke. Put yourself in this kidâ€™s shoes. Remember the scene in Hoosiers (the basketball movie)? The main guard was pulled out of the game by the coach because he refused the coachâ€™s instruction to pass the ball three times before shooting. Finally, a few players fouled out and the guard â€œchecked himselfâ€ back in because they only had four players left beside him. He figured that the coach had no other choice. However, the coach told him to sit and he told the referee, â€œMy team is on the floor.â€ They lost the game with four guys playing the rest of the way. Think about being that kid. He refused the coachâ€™s instruction, then assumed the coach had to use him, but to his surprise, he got a very embarrassing public rebuke.
The kid had a choice. He could receive the rebuke and change. Or he could allow it to fester into a full blown offense. And if you will remember his dad, he would have gladly rallied a campaign to fire the coach. A campaign to fire the coach failed. Instead, the kid chose to humble himself and heed the coachâ€™s instruction. He changed. Then, a holdout basketball superstar joined the team because he saw that the coach got the players to follow him. They went on to win the state championship. It all started because the most influential player on the team humbled himself and stood corrected.
Every parent knows that love is only possible if your kids are willing to stand corrected. Offense is an assault on love. Get trapped by offense and youâ€™ve begun destroying love. Every divorced person has experienced this horrible pain. Over the years, I have dealt with people who have no real grounds for divorce other than â€œirreconcilable differences.â€ At the root of many of those cases is the inability to deal with offense.
Success in Godâ€™s kingdom comes as we deal positively with offense.
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men.
The other person may despise you, but on your end, you stay at peace with them.
Offense will always, always color your thinking. It distorts your outlook. Your judgment is impaired just like a driverâ€™s is impaired due to alcohol.
Four Symptoms of Those Easily Offended:
1) THEY DO NOT HANDLE CORRECTION WELL.
Offense stirs up the fleshly nature. The flesh is drives you into selfish ambition. People often work themselves into a state of anger. They get infected with pride and become carriers of ill will toward innocent bystanders. Offense cannot contain itself. It must vent to sympathetic ears. Then the offense of one may become the offense of many. By this pattern, illegitimate campaigns to harass the â€œoffenderâ€ begin. A prime example is above when the fathers tried firing the coach after he humiliated the team by playing with just four.
2) THEY ARE TOUCHY.
1 Corinthians 13:5b (Amplified) Love is not touchy or resentfulâ€¦ takes no account of an evil done to it (it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
Their touchiness permits no probing of their role in the offense. They refuse to hear â€œthe other side of the coin.â€
3) TO SUPPORT THEIR OFFENSE, THEY FIND PROOF BASED UPON SUPPOSITION ABOUT THINGS SPECULATED UPON.
They turn into master criminal investigators against their opponent. They find numerous proofs of wrongful acts previously unknown to them. The problem is that the make assumptions based upon facts that are really speculations which theyâ€™ve imagined into proof.
Have you ever noticed that there is a cottage industry of â€œConspiracy Theorists?â€ For instance, they believe that our government carried out the 9/11 attacks as part of a grand conspiracy.
They have â€œproofâ€ based upon suppositions about things speculated upon. It is the fruit of an offended soul. They are deeply offended against the â€œpoliciesâ€ of our government so they now try to create a rebellion against it.
Offended people do the same thing in churches. They see a conspiracy or sinister motives behind the actions of their opponent. They join campaigns to rid the church of leaders whose policies offend them (even if they are supported by the majority). They bring them down by speculation, supposition which gives way to very destructive gossip. How many churches have rid themselves of pastors because an influential minority got offended due to the pastorâ€™s stance on something.
Stay away from such people. As you see by the verse below, their soul gets clouded. The fruit is twisted wrong thinking.
Proverbs 15:32 (NKJ) He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
4) THEY ARE DEFENSIVE AND FULL OF EXPLANATIONS
Easily offended people have a reason and explanation for every thing that offends them. They justify themselves in order to appear smart and clever when in fact, they refuse to stand corrected.
To reach your potential, even if you are a mature Christian, you must be willing to be corrected. Listen respectfully even if you disagree afterward, still receive correction with humility.